'On February 5, 2011, the leader of the Gaza-based Salafi-jihadi group Jama'at Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad, Sheikh 'Ahed Ahmad 'Abd Al-Karim Al-Sa'idani, known as Abu Al-Walid Al-Maqdisi, issued a fatwa in response to a question about Islam's position on the killing of innocent civilians in the course of "martyrdom operations" such as the 9/11 attacks. The fatwa, posted the website of prominent Salafi ideologue Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, stated that while Islam prohibits the killing of innocents, Jews and Christians may be targeted because they are not innocent but "aggressive combatants."
Abu Al-Walid Al-Maqdisi said that even the danger of harming innocent Muslims did not justify halting or delaying jihad operations, because jihad against the infidels must continue.
Following are excerpts from the fatwa:
"Our shari'a forbids killing innocent people, be they Muslims or infidels... However, in the course of a jihad operation, mistakes can always happen, and this in no sense means that jihad [operations] may be stopped or delayed.
"If by 'innocent people' the inquirer means Jewish or Christian civilians [who live] in the country [where the jihad operation is to take place], then he should know that these people are fundamentally not innocent. Rather, they are aggressive combatants who are party to [the deeds of their leaders] in money, opinion, and counsel. Even if some of them are innocent, but cannot be separated from the aggressors whom the mujahideen aim to target – the [Muslims] scholars have ruled that, in the case of a surprise attack, it permissible to kill all of them [i.e., the bystanders along with the targets]...
"If by 'innocent people' the inquirer means Muslims who may be accidentally hurt during a military operation, [he should know that] it is neither permissible nor reasonable to refrain from fighting the infidels out of fear of hurting some Muslims, because this would mean stopping the jihad. Most of the infidel countries that are fighting Islam have some Muslims living in them. It is inconceivable [to stop the jihad on their account], especially in the current situation, when most Muslim countries are waging defensive jihad."
 Tawhed.ws, February 5, 2011.'
I have commented on this aspect of 'innocence' before; most recently here, here and here. One with reference to Anjum Chaudri/Anjem Choudary, one with reference to Ayman al Zawahiri and one with reference to Kamal Al Helbawy, a Muslim Brotherhood leader in 1998.
As I have said before; why do people not listen to what the Islamists actually say, not what people would like them to say? Remember that the next time you hear those, on the surface, reassuring words that "we condemn the killing of all innocent people wherever they are" or "Those who seek to deliberately kill or maim innocent people are the enemies of us all...", remember to ask "Who are innocent people?" and "What is a civilian?"; the honest answers, or lack of, might be rather revealing.