There is great emphasis in the Quran on justice in all social and political matters and it uses three words for justice — ’adl, qist and hakama. These three words occur 244 times in the Quran. To seek revenge is human weakness, not strength. Thus, a devout Muslim tends to forgive like Allah who forgives his servants if they sincerely repent. Those who are waging jihad in the form of terror attacks are bent upon seeking revenge whereas a good Muslim would tend to forgive just as Allah does.
In Shariah law, jihad can be declared only by the state or those empowered by it. Terror attacks, on the other hand, are planned and executed by a few individuals unrepresentative of any state or state institution. So their attacks cannot be legitimate by any Islamic or Shariah law. That is nothing but committing murder of innocent people. Also, according to Islamic laws, in jihad no non-combatant can be attacked, much less women, children and old persons and no civilian property can be destroyed unless it is being used for military purposes or for purposes of combat.
It can be seen that the rules laid down for war by Islamic laws are no different from modern laws of warfare or the Geneva conventions. But terror attacks are a gross violation of all these Islamic rules and there is no way these attacks can be characterised as jihad. The terrorists are described by the media as jihadis. This is a gross misuse of the word as there is no word like jihadi in the Arabic language. It is in fact ‘mujahid’ and it is used in a laudatory sense — one who devotes oneself to a good cause like fighting against social evils.