The horrific massacre of 132 boys at their school in Peshawar, Pakistan, last week embodies a new trend in Islamist terrorism that has emerged this year.

Past jihadi terrorists, up to and including Osama bin Laden, claimed that their violence was justified as self-defense under their interpretation of the Islamic laws of war. In 2014, however, we've seen radical Islamists ignoring those laws altogether.

From Islamic State to Boko Haram to the Pakistani Taliban, the killers seem unconcerned to justify their actions in terms of Shariah — and this development demands careful attention to understand where the jihadis are going.