Re: Context is everything....
While it does seem more believable than a complete re-invention of his public image, from what you've written it sounds like you're basing this on Wikipedia, which isn't always an accurate resource for political history.
Equally, assuming this is accurate, while he did work to minimise civilian casualties he was still targetting civilian installations. Even in the best of cases, this would result in some civilian casualties, which could arguably mean he crossed over to terrorism under some definitions
Of course, if you *do* want to argue that then it would be difficult not to classify the US drone strikes as being terrorist activitiy, seeing as they haven't had any such restraint with regards to bombing civilian locations when aiming for a target. And like you say, he was working to disrupt a brutally oppressive regime which wouldn't have hesitated to kill off civilians if they thought it would get them what they wanted