The rebels are clearly not civilians, but an armed force.
What kind of an armed force?
Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime
As early as the mid-19th century, Wahhabi fundamentalism was imported into Benghazi by the reactionary and feudal Senussi fraternity. The influence of this tendency has been passed on from generation to generation, and Benghazi has been the center for those who have consistently opposed liberation Islam articulated by Qaddafi and implemented by the Libyan revolution.
The British have a long-standing relationship with the al Qaeda affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, based inside Libya. The British also have an historical relationship with the Wahhabi/Salafi brand of Islam, espoused today by Ikhwan al Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood) and their offshoots, including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
[update:30. August 2011]
How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli
By Pepe Escobar
His name is Abdelhakim Belhaj. Some in the Middle East might have, but few in the West and across the world would have heard of him.
Time to catch up. Because the story of how an al-Qaeda asset turned out to be the top Libyan military commander in still war-torn Tripoli is bound to shatter - once again - that wilderness of mirrors that is the "war on terror", as well as deeply compromising the carefully constructed propaganda of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) "humanitarian" intervention in Libya.
Muammar Gaddafi's fortress of Bab-al-Aziziyah was essentially invaded and conquered last week by Belhaj's men - who were at the forefront of a militia of Berbers from the mountains southwest of Tripoli. The militia is the so-called Tripoli Brigade, trained in secret for two months by US Special Forces. This turned out to be the rebels' most effective militia in six months of tribal/civil war.
Already last Tuesday, Belhaj was gloating on how the battle was won, with Gaddafi forces escaping "like rats" (note that's the same metaphor used by Gaddafi himself to designate the rebels).
Abdelhakim Belhaj, aka Abu Abdallah al-Sadek, is a Libyan jihadi. Born in May 1966, he honed his skills with the mujahideen in the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.
He's the founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and its de facto emir - with Khaled Chrif and Sami Saadi as his deputies. After the Taliban took power in Kabul in 1996, the LIFG kept two training camps in Afghanistan; one of them, 30 kilometers north of Kabul - run by Abu Yahya - was strictly for al-Qaeda-linked jihadis.
Full article : http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MH30Ak01.html
LIBYA REBELS - Al Qaeda in Libya and in command of the Military NTC Forces. -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogqaKYM9y8o&NR=1
Good Mulsims & Bad Muslims