The keffiyeh/ghutra/shemagh is simply a very large bandana. Made of cotton or flax, it is worn by the Arab peoples of the Middle East and is probably the ultimate in versatile desert clothing. Wear it draped over your head to provide shade for your neck and ears, wear it around your neck as a scarf to protect against cold winter nights, or wear it wrapped around your face as shown here to protect yourself from wind-blown sand (and/or scare patrons on a Southwest Airlines flight). It’s more comfortable than the tactical “stretchy sock thing” from my previous battles with the sandstorms. I actually only bought that thing because my keffiyehs hadn’t arrived in the mail yet. I ordered three… black on olive, black on white and red on white you see here. Read more about this ancient desert accessory on Wikipedia.
As for the photo, I was definitely going for a stereotypical “terrorist” look. I think the combination of plain background, sunglasses and artificial contrast evokes the image of an Arab extremist. What say you?