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Jihad!: The Secret War in Afghanistan Paperback – 17 Sep 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; New Ed edition (17 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840184957
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840184952
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 829,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

As Tom Carew explains in vivid detail in Jihad! The Secret War in Afghanistan, the West was far from passive in its involvement in the Soviet Union-Afghanistan conflict in 1980. As a member of the SAS, Carew was approached by British Intelligence "to link up with the Afghan Mujahideen resistance movement inside Pakistan, and then go into Afghanistan itself, to make an assessment of what training and material help they needed". Carew went much further than that, establishing close personal bonds with the Afghan guerrillas, and helping them in several disorganised and hair-raising attacks on the Soviets, all of which are recounted here in gory detail.

The first half of the book is far more interesting than the second half, which gets bogged down in Carew's frustration at the logistics of setting up a training camp for the Mujahideen in Pakistan. Overall, Jihad! is a very disturbing book, with its indifference to the completely unaccountable nature of this type of bloody covert operation, and Carew's unreflective attitude towards killing. Despite some concluding thoughts on the extent to which the West's intervention in the region "has been somewhat more dubious", this is a chilling book about the murderous realities of global realpolitik at the sharp end. --Jerry Brotton

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Glen Northey on 23 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
Summary: An excellent read but could well be "fiction"

The authors real name is Philip Sessarego.

Dont take this story as entirely factual. While some of it may well be true its just as likely to be all pure fiction. Certainly from a simplistic intelligence/military viewpoint there are some notable discrepancies. Many of the details would be impossible to recall and describe in the detail that they are. There are many clues for the reader that the book is at least fiction in parts.

The author has indeed been shown to have lied about some major points in the book and this may well extend to the entire book. A simple search on the web will reveal this. It is still however a very good story - which may well be due to the skills of the ghost writer Adrian Weale. Overly simplistic in its handling of violence at times and of limited value from a psychological viewpoint it only truely excels in its action sequences, which are relatively well done.

Enjoy the book but dont form any strong views based about the location or events as being "fact".
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jm Bird on 1 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
Lots of detail. Although amatuerish in writing style, easily accessible with some interesting tales. Shame that the author has pretended that he did pre-para and then SAS selection. Worse still, the annoying way he has of bigging himself up. If one didn't know better you might think that he was Mr. SAS. That said, an interesting, albeit very simplistic tale. Got to say that I wouldn't recommend it and do not intend to keep this book or offer it on loan to anyone.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Yaari on 22 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
Take this book as a work of fiction and rip-roaring yarn, as the bloke is a total fake and was embarrassingly "outed" by the BBC as he was trying to peddle this book. Its not a bad read, just don't believe a word of it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Willbert on 29 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
Don't be fooled. Although this guy has worked 'with' the SAS briefly, he never passed any entrance tests, let alone partake in SAS operations. Almost everything in the book is fictitious, so much so that the book really should be reclassified as fiction.

He walked out of an interview after being exposed by BBC Newsnight in 2001.
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By Usario on 28 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Fantastic book and well written. Very interesting story especially if you have read other books regarding the fight aginst the Soviets as it tells the story of the men on the ground, doing the fighting and brining in the weapons. Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 30 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Jihad - If you like soldier & war books you will love this book
it as got a good story line by the author, who served in Afghanistan in the 70's & 80's, he taught & helped the mujadeen fight against the Russian's in this brutal war.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Sept. 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If this story is true - and it seems very authentic - then it's amazing! Carew spent about a year in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and did all kinds of astonishing things. This reads like a Frederick Forsyth or Gerald Seymour novel, but these things actually happened. Wow!
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Small Fry on 24 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Firstly the background to the author and the book itself needs dealing with, before writing a review on the book itself:

The thing people have the problem with, in relation to this book is the authors SAS claims (and then subsequently positioning himself as an expert in islamic fundamentalism). People knock this book in a kind of knowing way trying to state that "Tom Carew" (real name Philip Sessarego) has 'never passed any entrance tests.' In fact he passed the majority of SAS entrance tests, failing the last leg of 'endurance' with an injured knee. He even impressed the training staff so much he was not RTU'd and kept on within the SAS to allow him to go back and re-take the failed test. Subsequent events and regimental politics forced 'Tom Carew' to walk away from the SAS before he re-took the endurance test.

However maybe out of bitterness to the regiment, maybe out of an eye to increase book sales, he expanded on his role within the regiment by embellishing the truth and trying to state he was ex-SAS. Now i'm not trying to defend anyone passing themselves off as something they are not. Sessarego deserves a degree of disdain, for the ex-SAS claims, but this often seems to cloud peoples perceptions of the book itself. Now had Sessarego stated himself to be an ex-British Soldier, who turned mercenary on the private circuit, this would have been more accurate and less controversial.

Now the book itself:

If the truth be known had he sticked closer to the truth the guy would be wealthy right now, as the book had become an international best seller, by the time the questions were raised about the SAS claims.
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