Muammar Gaddafi was dreaded by his citizens and world leaders also felt apprehensive about him when he reigned as the de facto leader of Libya from 1969 to when he was overthrown and assassinated in 2011. But whenever the name of the famed Gaddafi bodyguard unit was mentioned or they were sighted during his regime, even the most sophisticated elite protection units had anxieties.
So, who are Gaddafi’s bodyguards? Why was there much interest in them during the late Libyan leader’s regime? What happened to them when after his demise?
Who were Gaddafi’s bodyguards?
The Gaddafi bodyguards were an elite women unit of special protection guards who guarded Muammar Gaddafi, the former dictator of Libya, who ruled the country from 1969 until he died in 2011. Gaddafi was known for his extravagant lifestyle during his time in power, and which included his use of bodyguards.
The bodyguards were officially known in Libya as “The Revolutionary Nuns”, but were named the Amazonian Guards (a.k.a. the Amazons) by Western journalists. The bodyguards and other security forces helped to protect him and maintain control over the country.
Following Gaddafi’s adoption of the title “Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya”, the Revolutionary Nuns were established by the late Libyan leader. Joseph T. Stanik, a retired U.S. Navy officer and author, in his book: El Dorado Canyon: Reagan’s Undeclared War with Qaddafi, claimed that Gaddafi reportedly used a group of female bodyguards because he thought an Arab shooter would find it challenging to shoot at ladies. Another school of thought, however, opined that Gaddafi’s female bodyguards were only a part of the tyrant’s well-known quirky showmanship and his preference for surrounding himself with young ladies.
Gaddafi frequently travelled with 15 of his Amazonian Guards. They were responsible for protecting him and his family. They were trained in close protection techniques and were equipped with advanced weaponry and other security measures. They had firearms and martial arts training at a special academy and were reportedly required to take an oath of chastity before being chosen.
Gaddafi’s bodyguards played a significant role in maintaining his grip on power, and they were often involved in the suppression of political opposition and human rights abuses. The bodyguards were known for their loyalty to the late Libyan leader.
Were Gaddafi’s bodyguards virgins?
It was reported that Gaddafi demanded that his female bodyguards swear an oath of virginity, as well as pledge their protection and that they wear camouflage, nail polish, styled hair, and lots of mascara.
It was, however, not authenticated by Gaddafi or members of his team if the bodyguards were truly virgins.
What happened to Gaddafi’s bodyguards?
Gaddafi was overthrown in a popular uprising and civil war in 2011. After he was killed in October 2011, many of his bodyguards were captured or surrendered to rebel forces. Some of them were put on trial for crimes committed during the civil war, while others were released.
It is not clear what happened to all of Gaddafi’s bodyguards, but some may have fled the country or joined other armed groups.
Were Gaddafi’s bodyguards raped?
Five female members of Muammar Gaddafi’s elite squad of female bodyguards claimed that the overthrown Libyan leader sexually assaulted them, according to a report.
The former bodyguards allegedly informed a psychotherapist in the Libyan town of Benghazi that Gaddafi and his sons had sexually assaulted and mistreated them before tossing them away after the men grew bored with them, according to the Sunday Times of Malta.
One of the women claimed she was forced to join Gaddafi’s female bodyguard squad after the regime made up a story against her family. She stated that the regime alleged that her brother had been found bringing drugs into Libya and would be imprisoned unless she joined the brigade.