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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 18:17 GMT
Author 'lied about SAS membership'
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Tom Carew claimed to be a member of the SAS
Claims by bestselling author Tom Carew to have been a member of the elite 22 SAS have been exposed as false by the BBC.

Mr Carew's book, Jihad! The Secret War in Afghanistan, is expected to sell 100,000 copies by Christmas.

The BBC's George Eykyn says he still insists he did serve with the SAS.

Since the start of the war in Afghanistan, Tom Carew has been a regular on the airwaves and in newspapers, speaking about special forces.

His book is principally a tale of mercenary derring do in Afghanistan when Mr Carew trained Mujahideen fighters.

But his claims to have served at least 14 years in 22 SAS, the regular army's elite regiment, have been exposed as false.

Demonstration Troop

Inquiries by the BBC Two's Newsnight programme have established that Tom Carew's real name is Philip Sessarego.

He tried Selection for 22 SAS in 1973 but failed.

He was allowed to stay on as a non-member in what was called Demonstration Troop - ordinary soldiers who did jobs for the SAS like play the enemy on exercises.

Records show Mr Sessarego later tried to join the Territorial Army Reserve Squadron of the SAS and failed that selection at the end of 1975.

On Wednesday he was challenged over the allegations.

Mr Carew broke off the interview and on his way out punched a BBC camera.

Tom Carew's ghost writer has said he is embarrassed by the revelations, but stressed that the book was principally a true story about Afghanistan.

See also:

02 Nov 01 | UK
Profile: The SAS
16 Dec 00 | UK
SAS website taken down
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