Himayah (Arabic for "protection"), also known as the Department of Senior Escorts or Himayat al-Ra'is, was the innermost security organization of Saddam Hussein, consisting of his personal bodyguards, as well as sensitive household functions such as food and laundry. Originally, it was part of the Special Security Organization, but, in the late 1980s, it was put under the direction of the Secretary of the President, Abd Hamid Mahmud Al Khatab Al Nasiri. 
It was made up of two groups, the Special Protection (Amn al-Khas) and the Special Guard (Haras al-Khas). The former, who were the only people allowed to be armed in his presence, were the actual bodyguards, while the latter provided logistical services.
The SSO did select the staff, who were almost always from Saddam's home area of Tikrit, and had clan ties to him. Typically, they were directly related to him, of the Al Bu Nasir tribe. The bodyguards were apt to be young, uneducated, but loyal; the chief bodyguard, 'Abd Ihmid Hmud is of the tribe.
- Central Intelligence Agency, report on Iraq’s Security Services, Regime Strategic Intent - Annex C:
- Amatzia Baram (December 2000), "Saddam Husayn between his Power Base and the International Community", Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal 4 (4)