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Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Organization (Iraq)

Jama'at Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad, Unity and Holy War

Last modified: 2020-07-30 by ian macdonald
Keywords: shahada |
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Version 1

Zarqawi Organization by Richard Knipel

Version 2

Zarqawi Organization by Richard Knipel



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About the Flag

The militant group run by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, called "Unity and Holy War," is apparently using its own flag for display in hostage videos and other purposes. This is black, with Arabic writing in white, and a disc, in yellow or white. I guess that black may be based on the color of the Abbasid dynasty who formed a Sunni Islamic Iraq-based empire that was in conflict with Shiites, as Zarqawi's group is. According to the New York Times, the flag was discovered in Falluja's main police station after a February attack. It has also been used in videos of Korean, Turkish, Bulgarian and Filipino hostages. I have provided rough images of two versions I've seen in the media.
Richard Knipel, 11 July 2004

Both flags have the Shahada (Islamic creed) in different writing on top. I can't read the blurred bottom inscription in the first version, but in the second it says "al-tawhid" (unity) and "al-jihad" (holy war).
Dov Gutterman, 11 July 2004

The official name of this organization is Jama'at Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad. The original organization founded by this man was called Jama'at Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad (Monotheism and Jihad) and it was later succeeded by the current organization called Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, as noticed here: "Founding Philosophy: Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad Fi Bilad al-Rafidayn is the current name of the terrorist group led by Abu Musab Zarqawi. The U.S. State Department has understood this name, which is translated as Organization of Jihad's Base in the Country of the Two Rivers, to imply that Zarqawi sees his group as the center of Jihadist activities in Iraq. This change was made after Zarqawi pledged his alliance to Osama bin Laden. Despite the change in name, the goals of Zarqawi's group – to overthrow the interim Iraqi government and establish an Islamic state in Iraq by forcing out the U.S.-led coalition – remain constant."
Source: http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=4416
The logo of this organization is to be found at: http://www.tkb.org/ImageDetail.jsp?id=7060
Esteban Rivera, 07 August 2005

This organization, whose official name was "Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, (TQJBR) ("Organization of Jihad's Base in Mesopotamia", Arabic: تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد في بلاد الرافدين‎) also became known as as Al-Qaeda in Iraq or al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia". Its flag is seen here.
"The group was founded by the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi under the name Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (Arabic: جماعة التوحيد والجهاد, "Group of Monotheism and Jihad"). It became especially active in 2003 as a reaction to the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Afterpledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network in October 2004, its official name became Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn. (Notice that the flag of Al-Qaeda in Iraq has the same pattern as the Al-Qaeda flag, yellow disc in the middle below Shahada, on a black background.
In a letter to al-Zarqawi in July 2005, Al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri outlined a four-stage plan to expand the Iraq War, which included expelling US forces from Iraq, establishing an Islamic authority - acaliphate - spreading the conflict to Iraq's secular neighbors, and engaging in the Arab–Israeli conflict. (This is actually what currently ISIS is trying to accomplish) and each groups' different view on the approach of how to materialize this goal was the main reason for them (Al-Qaeda and ISIS) to split, and is what led ISIS to become more prominent recently."
An insight on the above mentioned, is found in the following article by The Sunday Times newspaper published on May 13, 2007: "A RADICAL plan by Al-Qaeda to take over the Sunni heartland of Iraq and turn it into a militant Islamic state once American troops have withdrawn is causing alarm among US intelligence officials.
A power struggle has emerged between the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, an organisation with ambitions to become a state which has been set up by Al-Qaeda, and more moderate Sunni groups. They are battling for the long-term control of central and western areas which they believe could break away from Kurdish and Shi’ite-dominated provinces once the coalition forces depart.
According to an analysis compiled by US intelligence agencies, the Islamic State has ambitions to create a terrorist enclave in the Iraqi provinces of Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Salah al-Din, Nineveh and parts of Babil.
“Al-Qaeda are on the way to establish their first stronghold in the Middle East,” warned an American official. “If they succeed, it will be a catastrophe and an imminent danger to Saudi Arabia and Jordan.”
The US conviction that the Islamic State could seize power is based on its use of classic Al-Qaeda tactics and its adoption last October of a draft constitution. This was entitled Notifying Mankind of the Birth of the Islamic State and was posted on a website based in Britain.
The Islamic State is spearheading the insurgency against US forces and troops loyal to Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister. In recent months it has been responsible for chlorine gas bombs and numerous suicide attacks on civilian targets.
The Islamic State’s brutal targeting of fellow Sunnis has made it unpopular among some who see Al-Qaeda as foreign influenced and too ready to attack Iraqis as well as US forces." (Remember: the above article was published in 2007, and today, seven years later, we are seeing the outcome).
Al-Qaeda in Iraq was active on the period between 17 October, 2004 and October 2006.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanzim_Qaidat_al-Jihad_fi_Bilad_al-Rafidayn
It was a major combatant actor in the Iraqi insurgencyand played a central role in the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq.
Esteban Rivera, 30 September 2014