At the time of Ambassador Stevens’ visit, February 17 militia members had stopped accompanying Special Mission vehicle movements in protest over salary and working hours. The Board’s inquiry found little evidence that the armed February 17 guards offered any meaningful defense of the SMC, or succeeded in summoning a February 17 militia presence to assist expeditiously.
A few captives were women. Ola Shahba, a well-known activist with a socialist party, was captured by a group of the president’s supporters when she tried to retreat from a collapsing battle line. Her captors began beating her, she said. Then they removed her hood and helmet and realized she was a woman, and she was groped as well.
Ms. Maged was taken into custody by the police a short time later after she led a small group of protesters in chants of “Down with the Muslim Brotherhood!” The video shows that, as she was handcuffed and led away by officers, Ms. Maged shouted: “I have every right to protest! This is my constitutional right! I am an American citizen!”