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James Gerard Richard Shortt (born 16 September 1953) is the Director General of the International Bodyguard Association (IBA)[1] and author of several books on military special forces and martial arts.

On several occasions Shortt has been exposed by British tabloid newspapers for passing himself off as a much-decorated SAS and Parachute Regiment veteran, as well as exposing his claims to other military and nobiliary credentials.[2][3]


Shortt has been the Director-General of the International Bodyguard Association since February 1990.[4] Shortt has also authored several books dealing with military special forces units-particularly the British SAS, as well as been interviewed by other authors on military subjects.

Published worksEdit

  • Shortt, James (1981). The Special Air Service. Illustrated by Angus McBride. London, UK: Osprey Pub. ISBN 0-85045-396-8.
  • Shortt, James (1986). British special forces: 1945 to the present (Uniforms Illustrated). London, UK: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 0-85368-785-4.
  • Shortt, James (1985). The Paras: The British Parachute Regiment (Uniforms illustrated). London, UK: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 0-85368-699-8.
  • Shortt, James; Hashimoto, Katsuharu (1979). Beginning Jiu Jitsu: Ryoi Shinto Style. London, UK: Paul H. Crompton. ISBN 0-901764-42-6.
  • Shortt, James (1984). Self-defence: The Essential Handbook. London, UK: Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 0-283-98992-0.


Shortt has made various claims regarding his military service when interviewed or providing consultations. In The Gun Digest Book of Assault Weapons Shortt under the alias "Seamus Shortt" is described as a "British Royal Marine (TA)" and that "Shortt has other military training as well, but details of it are still classified".[5] In The SAS Fighting Techniques Handbook, author Terry White thanked Shortt for his insights in close personal protection and counter-terrorism. White states in his acknowledgements that he believed Shortt to be a "former member of the British Parachute Regiment and Special Air Service".[6]

On 29 January 2009, the British tabloid The Sun ran an article which revealed that Shortt had never belonged to either the Special Air Service (SAS) or the Parachute Regiment. He had only been a medic in the Territorial Army and had left within months of joining. This matter came to light after Brian Ware, who headed the security department at the Cabinet Office, was suspended for allowing Shortt on to the property without ensuring he had proper authorization or vetting his credentials. Shortt had been invited by Ware as a security advisor.[2]

The following day The Sun quoted several other dubious claims listed on Shortt's CV, including his claim of being an Irish baron, being made a Knight Commander of St Gregory by Pope John Paul II, as well as having a Gant d’Or ("golden gloves") in French Savate and a 9th Dan black belt in traditional Japanese Ju Jutsu from the "Dai Nihon Seibukan in Kyoto, Japan".[3]

In 2016, The Daily Mail ran an article on the general subject of "Walts" (i.e. military imposters) and made reference to this incident, showing a photo of Shortt wearing an SAS beret despite never having been part of the unit.[7]


  1. ^ "International Bodyguard Association - History". Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b Dunn, Tom Newton (29 January 2009). "Fake SAS man given Cabinet security job". The Sun. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  3. ^ a b "The Whip". The Sun. 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  4. ^ "I.B.A. Deutschland - International Bodyguard Association". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  5. ^ Lewis, Jack; Campbell, Robert K.; Steele, David (2007). "The Combat Training Team". The Gun Digest Book of Assault Weapons (7th, illustrated, revised ed.). Gun Digest. p. 129. ISBN 0-89689-498-3.
  6. ^ White, Terry (2007). "Acknowledgements". The SAS Fighting Techniques Handbook. Globe Pequot. p. vii. ISBN 1-59921-081-9. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  7. ^ Sam Tonkin. "Inside the network of military vigilantes exposing 'Walter Mittys'". Mail Online. Retrieved 1 June 2016. James Shortt was exposed as a bogus SAS veteran who was used to advise on Cabinet Office security. In his 50s when he was outed, Shortt had boasted about having served with elite military units across the world. But despite being pictured wearing berets of the SAS and the Paras, he belonged to neither. In fact, he was a medic in the Territorial Army who left within months. Shortt's exposure in 2009 created a storm when it emerged he was allowed access to the highly sensitive government building to advise on Cabinet Office security.