The Civil Registry Authority (CRA) confirmed yesterday that it had been forcibly taken over by ‘’ideologically extremist groups’’ who took control of its database of Libyan citizens which would have ‘’enabled them to control the affairs of Libyans and the manipulation of their identities for their own interests’’.
The Authority feared that the ‘’armed militias with suspicious agendas’’ would ‘’tamper with the database’’ or commit ‘’forgery and vandalism’’.
There has been no comment on this major incident from the internationally unrecognized authorities in Tripoli or their allied media outlets.
It will be recalled that during the recent US air raid on IS/DAESH in Sabratha large numbers of fake passports, including Libyan passports, were found at the various hideouts.
Having access to the CRA, extremists and terrorists would be able to alter existing Libyan identities or create new fake identities for anybody who wished to hide their true identity. The CRA is the Libyan body charged with identifying and establishing the nationality or citizenship of any Libyan.
It enables Libyans to obtain a birth certificate, and thereafter a National ID number, a family book, a passport, debit card and the purchase of hard currency.
Having access and being able to alter the national database would provide any one or groups with a strategic advantage and would pose a serious threat to the country’s security.
The CRA did not say when exactly it lost control of the national database nor for how long, it did however say that it has subsequently managed to block access to the database. It is not clear what and to what extent damage was caused by the incursion by the extremists.
It also refrained from identifying precisely who the so called extremists were and whether their intentions were of a financial or terrorist motive – or both.
The incident is yet another example of the withering of Libya’s institutions and the lack of the existence of a state and the lack of a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. It exemplifies the lack of authority, legitimate deterrent and the extent of the power and authority vacuum within Libya.