In the year 2000 there was an upset at the UK Special Forces club known simply as “the club” to its members. This upset was caused by a fraud
going by the name Tom Carew who wrote a book in which he claimed to have served with the SAS and conducted covert operations in his book “Jihad”.
His real name is Philip Sessarego and he never served in 22SAS, his real story is much more interesting.
Sessarego was born in the early 1950’s, in his younger years he would visit his uncle who lived in Hereford near the base of the SAS, this was the
birth of a fascination that I think led to his death. Upon leaving school he joined the royal artillery with the ambition of joining the elite of the
22nd Special Air Service. As soon as he was eligible he set of as a fit man to take part in the infamous UK Special Forces selection process. During
the last week of the endurance phase he injured his knee and was unable to continue. The SAS took pity on him and entered him into the demonstration
troop (Goon Troop) who help out with training and odd bits and bobs around the base until he was able to undertake selection again. He was told he
would only have to take part in the final test that he failed during endurance week and then he could continue with his SAS training. It’s unclear
how or why but he failed this second attempt and he was furious, apparently he had even bought a house near SAS HQ. This failure also led him to leave
the army in 1975 at the age of 23.
There is a slight twist to his story of failure and rejection in the SAS apparently mother had moved to Hereford to live near her brother (his uncle)
and was having an affair with the Training Wing Sergeant Major. According to Sessarego he became a pawn in a mini-power struggle within the SAS
Training Wing as a result and thus made his first enemies within the regiment.
After leaving the army Sessarego was depressed and took time to find his way back onto society. In the late 70’s he met up with Darkie' Davidson, a
SAS sergeant who also had enemies in the regiment. The two men got them self’s onto “the Circuit” or working as mercenaries in Sir Lanka. It is
also said that he and Davidson were working with US and British intelligence including the Afghan operation Fairfax
In the 1980’s Sessarego was approached by members of the intelligence services to go to help train the Afghan Mujahedeen in his book “Jihad” he
makes some rather wild claims such as being actively involved in combat operations against members of Soviet army, fought Spetsnaz and even set up a
western training camp and hijacking a passenger jet. It is difficult to gauge how accurate his account of his time in Afghanistan is other than that
he was involved in training the Afghans under operation Fairfax and thus was almost definitely working alongside US and British intelligence.
In 1991 he faked his own death claiming to have been killed in a bomb blast in Croatia however was later found to be alive and living under the new
name of Philip Stevenson. He would later claim he done this for reasons of national security and his own protection however and that his new identity
had been given to him by British Intelligence. It is far more likely he done it to get out of paying maintenance to his wife for his two children.
During this time between 1991 and 1994 he was also involved in operation Clover an American intelligence operation to provide support to the
governments of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Then in the late 1990’s he started paying attention the likes of Andy McNab who was now making his wealth from selling his account of his time in
the SAS. Sessarego attempted to make his millions by writing a book, a book that was riddled with lies about his time in Afghanistan where he made a
number of claims about his life in the SAS (which he was never part of) he claimed to be involved in operations in Northern Ireland, Oman and
obviously Afghanistan. His book was call Jihad and written under the p pseudonym Tom Carew, The book is said to be 75% true however just about
everything he claims about his connections to the SAS is false and it is hard to establish how true is account of his work in Afghanistan is.
Interestingly the paperback copy of this book was published on the 10th of September 2001 just one day before the attack on New York (one could
suggest he might be part of a conspiracy but I don’t think he was complicit in any such conspiracy). This was his down fall, he began to advertise
himself as an expert in Muslim extremism with an ex special forces background when he was neither. He appeared on CNN, BBC and wrote for the daily
mail on matter of terrorism he book sales soared to 50 000.
Unfortunately for Sessarego the SAS started to pay attention to him and ex SAS Warrant Officer Ken Connor done some digging and discovered he was a
fraud. A Newsnight reporter, George Eykyn got hold of the story and in 2002 and confronted Carew on the show alongside Ken Connor. According to some
sources he went mental with anger punched the camera man and told the reporter he had 11 Albanian body guards who shoot first and ask questions later.
Unsurprisingly the attitude of the SAS community was one of disgust, they viewed this as a black mark on the name of the regiment and also feared that
it might bring their own accounts of their time in the SAS into question, he had effectively made the regiment an enemy of his. One senior millenary
figure said that “'He had more enemies than Osama bin Laden, He was hated by many highly trained special forces men for dragging the name of The
Regiment through the mud.
After this, discredited once again, he moved to Belgium where he got involved in dealing in military equipment and then he was involved in the Belgian
criminal underworld running protection rackets for nightclubs (some say this may also have involved the illegal sex trade). In 2009 he dead body was
found in a garage he was living in officially he had died of Carbon monoxide poisoning however his body was so badly decomposed it was impossible to
positive identify him without DNA.
According to his ex wife there were “allot of former SAS men who have scores to settle with him”. A local who knew him was quoted as saying “He
was hiding from someone”, and according to the daily mail “Mercenary figures speculate that this is exactly the kind of death that a trained
assassin would stage to ensure it was declared an accident”. It’s not even clear he is dead as he has faked his death in the early 1990’s and it
is rumoured he had done so in the mid 1990’s when in Africa.
The Guardian news paper made a interesting claim about Sessarego writing a new book about “how Britain secretly armed Croats and Muslims as the
former Yugoslavia was about to break up through an arms dealer whom the CIA had suspected of involvement in the hijacking of the Italian cruise liner
Achille Lauro in 1985.”I would say that is motive enough to kill somebody, In the UK there are a number of groups who could do this: The Increment,
Group 13 or GB75 (if any of them exist.) or indeed the SAS to settle an old score on the behest of the government.
What makes the story of Sessarego so interesting is that if he didn’t lie about being in the SAS he would probably still be alive and be held in
high regard apparently 75% of his book Jihad is accurate, it’s just impossible to figure out what is true and what is false. His death just
doesn’t make much sense for instance, why was a international best seller living in a rented garage. He might not have been SAS but he was an
ex-soldier and had lived the life of a mercenary and he dies from carbon monoxide poisoning yet the only gas in the room was a small camp cooker. His
body was barely identifiable and according to most press reports police immediately suspected murder to be the cause of death and then they changed
It is therefore my hypothesis that Phillip Sessarego was murdered by elements of the UK Special Forces community with the backing of the government to
prevent information about the US and UK baking of terrorism. This is of course all based on superstition and speculation, I have no prove i do however
have a possible motive and plenty of people who wanted him dead who had the skills to do so and make it look like a accident. It is also evident that
Sessarego did work for US and British inelegance and some point and perhaps his new book was about to expose some big secrets, his motive for
writing this book would come from being exposed by the British media and SAS.
And of course, “Jihad!” by “Tom Carew”
[edit on 3-8-2010 by kevinunknown]