Omar Mokhtar el-Hariri

Position: Defence minister

Biography: Omar Mokhtar el-Hariri has been designated minister of military affairs for the rebel’s interim government. As such, he is the nominal head of the Free Libyan Army.

El-Hariri was involved in the 1969 coup against King Idris that abolished the monarchy and ushered in Qaddafi’s 42-year reign. In 1975, he organised an attempt to overthrow Qaddafi. When the plot failed, he was sentenced to death, alongside 21 co-conspirators.

He was incarcerated for 15 years, awaiting execution, and spent more than four years in solitary confinement. In 1990, Qaddafi unexpectedly commuted his sentence and he was put under house arrest in the eastern city of Tobruk.

He was freed when the Qaddafi regime lost control of the city during the uprising against the dictator. Hariri is from the Farjan tribe, which is based in western Libya and has a strong presence in and around the Qaddafi stronghold of Sirte.