As noted at The Long War Journal on July 6, the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, posted a series of propaganda photos from a recent suicide bombing in Aleppo. One of the pictures in particular has caught the attention of jihadists online.
The image, which can be seen above, shows the explosion caused by Abu Osama al Jazrawi after he detonated his improvised vehicle bomb. Look carefully at the peak of the flame and you’ll see what appears to be a hand pointing an index finger towards the heavens. Some jihadists believe this picture shows that Allah approves of Abu Osama’s act. Raising a lone index finger in praise of or supplication to Allah is a common gesture. And the Al Nusrah Front’s supporters think the fire has duplicated it.
Of course, fire creates many shapes. And you’d be hard-pressed to find anything divine in the aftermath of the many suicide bombings launched around the world each year. The jihadists are seeing what they want to see.