Once again, jihadists target civilians directly, seeking to be "victorious with terror," as Muhammad described himself (Sahih Bukhari 4.52.220), and embracing the Qur'an's promise of paradise for those who "slay and are slain" in the cause of Allah (9:111).
Apologists will insist Islamic warfare forbids the killing of "innocents," and hope listeners will project their own cultural understanding of the term onto what they are hearing. In practice, the discussion of "innocents" in jihad attacks all too easily becomes an elaborate shell game relative to concept's usefulness in advancing Islam's agenda at the moment -- i.e., whether or not the casualties are bad enough for business (note how Hamas always seems to get a pass). Ultimately, it is informed in spirit by the Qur'an's dehumanization of unbelievers as "apes and swine" (Qur'an 2:63-66; 5:59-60; and 7:166) and the "vilest of creatures" (98:6).
As such, the victims in this market were apparently not innocent enough for this jihadist attack. "Suicide attack in Russia kills 17, wounds over 130," by Sergei Venyavsky for the Associated Press, September 9:
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia - A suicide car bomber hit the central market of a major city in Russia's North Caucasus on Thursday, killing at least 17 and wounding more than 130 people in one of the worst attacks in the volatile region in years, officials said.
The attacker detonated his explosives as he drove by the main entrance to the Vladikavkaz market, according to the Emergency Situations Ministry.
At least 17 people, including the suicide bomber, were killed and 133 were wounded in the explosion, said Alexander Pogorely of the Emergency Situations Ministry's branch in southern Russia. He said 98 of the injured were hospitalized, many in grave condition.
Russian television stations showed a shrapnel-littered square in front of the market, with blood stains on the pavement and rows of vehicles scarred by the blast.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his regional envoy to Vladikavkaz to help coordinate efforts to help the victims. He urged the investigators to "do everything to track down the beasts, the scoundrels who conducted that terror attack."
No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, which was the deadliest such attack in the region since a double suicide bombing killed 12, mostly police officers, in the province of Dagestan in April. Twin suicide bombings on Moscow subway in March killed 40 people and wounded over 100.
The market and its surrounding blocks has been the target of several bomb attacks over the past dozen years, in which scores of people have died.
Vladikavkaz is the capital of the Russian republic of North Ossetia. Although it is less plagued by violence than some other republics in the region such as Chechnya and Dagestan, North Ossetia has experienced ethnic tensions and frequent attacks.
Which ethnicity is Islam again?