The All-Female Private Bodyguards of a Former Dictator

Yana Bostongirl
Woman and Man in Military Uniforms with FeathersPhoto byashvini bmr on Pexels

For 20 years, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi surrounded himself with a group of elite female bodyguards known popularly as the 'Amazons' or Haris al-Has – the private guards.

It is believed that Gaddafi opted to have women for his protection because it would have been more challenging for a male assailant to harm them. Gaddafi believed that women were more loyal and, thus less likely to rebel and turn against their leader.

Per reports, they served as a critical part of his intelligence network: "His guard force and female soldiers were very much his eyes and ears – in some ways equally important as the old-world male spy lords who enforced his police state."

However, some argue that the female bodyguards were just for show. Or it could simply be because the late dictator liked to be surrounded by young women. Also, given that Libyan culture is male-dominated, it's improbable that he would have entrusted the safety of himself and his family entirely to a security force consisting of women.

During the Libyan Civil War, accusations arose from five members of the Amazonian Guard, alleging rape and other abuses by high-ranking officials within the Gaddafi government.

After Gaddafi's death, many of them are rumored to have escaped into hiding within and outside the country.

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