Benghazi mobilizing for jihad against Qaddafi

Rebel forces controlling the eastern city of Benghazi who oppose Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi fear he possesses chemical weapons and will use them, and so they want to finish the fight, they say, "before he does anything stupid".

"Benghazi is mobilizing its youth for jihad against Qaddafi," CBS News' George Baghdadi reports from the Libyan city.

Baghdadi said approximately 2,000 people - some armed, with weapons, TNT and Molotov cocktails - "are just waiting for the green light to move forward."

Morale is "high and boiling," Baghdadi said.

Rebels in Benghazi, the second-largest city in Libya, are asking others cities to join the fight against the Qaddafi regime or to provide weapons and ammunition.

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Baghdadi also spoke with a former Qaddafi official, Major General Abdul Fattah Younis, who resigned as Interior Minister a few days ago in protest of Qaddafi's use of force against protesters.

Younis knows the Libyan leader quite well, and told CBS Radio News that he will never step down before destroying everything around him.

Younis revealed that he has orders from Qaddafi to bomb Benghazi itself, but he refused and joined the revolution.

Younis expressed hope that the revolution will win, and appealed to security and police forces across the country to abandon Qaddafi and join the movement.

Interviewed by CBS Radio News producer Steve Baltin, Baghdadi was asked whether Libyans in the eastern part of the country - now largely under opposition control - still feel threatened by Qaddafi's forces.

"You know, they never trusted Qaddafi," replied Baghdadi. "They fear that Qaddafi has maybe chemical weapons, and they fear that one day he will use them. When he feels trapped, you don't know what he will do.

"That's why they would like to fight as soon as possible... Now, as you know, there is international condemnation, so they would like to use this as well and fight back before he does anything stupid."

Baghdadi said he'd not seen any pro-Qaddafi soldiers in the eastern region.

Meanwhile, it appeared to Baghdadi that talk of a provisional government having been formed was premature.

"The Minister of Justice, who resigned a few days ago, tried to form a kind of transitional government and he spoke about this yesterday and that he will have this committee or this counsel in order to run this country, but today it was clear that there was also kind of division among the Libyans themselves," said Baghdadi.

Baghdadi, who has been inside Libya for more than a week, told Baltin that, in spite of the violence in some parts of the country, the atmosphere in the east remained far less tense.

"You wouldn't believe that this country is on the verge of war. It is very peaceful, very calm... People are helping each other. Yesterday now in front of the court...people were distributing food. There are many who are really very poor and the wealthy people, the rich people are distributing whatever they can. People are on the streets... just waving the victory sign. And they are the ones who are running the country now. There are no policemen, so it is them who are telling the cars where to go; it is them who are cleaning the streets of Benghazi."

"It is very quiet, very peaceful. You can hear some cracks of fire, because the people are celebrating that they managed to get rid of Qaddafi."