The Fantasy Life and Lonely Death of the SAS Veteran Who Never Was

He professed to have been a member of Britain’s secretive and elite Special Air Service, writing an account of his time in the Hindu Kush and other places in Afghanistan, training the mujahideen to fight the Soviets during the invasion in the late 1970s. But after selling 50,000 copies of his book Jihad!, Tom Carew was exposed as a fantasist fixated with the SAS whose real name was Philip Sessarego.

This week, the tale of the man whose Walter Mitty-style fictions caused him to be despised by real members of the SAS — who rarely speak of their time in “the Regiment” — took a strange, and final, twist when it emerged that a decomposed body discovered in a rented garage in Antwerp is believed to have been his.

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