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Black Flag in Jersey: A Jihadist Identifier Camouflaged
by Dawn Perlmutter
On Tuesday August 12, Marc Leibowitz alerted Homeland Security that a black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) was hanging on a house in Garwood, New Jersey. As a former Israeli paratrooper he understood the importance of reporting suspicious activity. The black flag that was hanging in New Jersey is an indisputable identifier of jihadist terrorist groups including al-Qaeda. It is one of several variations of the 'Black Flags of Jihad'. It is a variant design of the Black Standard Al-Rāya flag a.k.a. The Black Banner, Banner of the Eagle and The Banner. The white writing is the shahada, the declaration of Islamic faith: There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God. In this variant the second phrase of the shahada is in the form of the historical signet ring seal of the Prophet Muhammad in the center circle. The black flag is found in terrorist emblems, websites and often appears in violent protests. On September 11, 2012 angry protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and replaced the American flag with the same black flag that was hanging on the porch in this Jersey neighborhood.
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