Prison Break: CID Prisoners Released by GNA Forces


After forces aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA) captured Sobratha and Surman yesterday, the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) prisoners were released.

The Criminal Investigation Department is a unit that has been in charge of security in the area.

Although divisive, the CID was known for its role in combating crime, tracking and arresting dangerous individuals.

Prisoners under the CID’s authority include fuel smugglers, gangs and extremists, along with political prisoners.

The CID worked and cooperated closely with RADA Special Deterrence Force in Tripoli on many cases, and were seen by many as the main defence against Libya’s most dangerous terrorist cells in western Libya.

A source informed Libya Review that over 500 prisoners that were the result of years of investigations have been released by groups from Zawiya affiliated with Hasan and Hsen Zaet, the infamous brothers responsible for the kidnapping of Jordan’s Ambassador to Libya in 2014 in exchange for Jordan handing over Mohamed al-Nus, as well as the kidnapping of Egypt’s Consulate General in 2014 in exchange for Egypt releasing Abu Obeyda and the kidnapping of former Prime Minister Ali Zidan in 2013.

Yesterday’s GNA offensive featured known Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council members as well as fuel and human traffickers.

A source within the GNA told Libya Review that Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha is working on identifying the prisoners that were released. However, the source added that due to the Minister’s strenuous relationship with Zawiya, no progress has been made.