Despite the strict rules against it in the Koran, many of the ISIS soldiers have a secret weapon they are using to keep them going, sometimes for days on end.
The reported energy booster for the terrorists is a cheap, easily made amphetamine called Captagon, and according to the Independent, it allows “fighters to stay up for days, killing with a numb, reckless abandon.”
The article in the Independent says that Turkish authorities just seized 11 million Captagon pills that could have supplied many thousands of terrorists.
“You can’t sleep or even close your eyes, forget about it,” a Lebanese drug user told BBC Arabic in a documentary. “And whatever you take to stop it, nothing can stop it.”
Another purported drug user said, “I felt like I own the world high. Like I have power nobody has. A really nice feeling.”
A third man explained why the drug could be so popular with those on the battlefield. “There was no fear anymore after I took Captagon.”
Speaking to the BBC, a secular Syrian ex-fighter described the first time he used the artificial stimulant:
“So the brigade leader came and told us, ‘this pill gives you energy, try it,’ ” he said. “So we took it the first time. We felt physically fit. And if there were 10 people in front of you, you could catch them and kill them. You’re awake all the time. You don’t have any problems, you don’t even think about sleeping, you don’t think to leave the checkpoint. It gives you great courage and power. If the leader told you to go break into a military barracks, I will break in with a brave heart and without any feeling of fear at all — you’re not even tired.”
According to the Daily Mail, Lebanese psychiatrist Ramzi Haddad explained that when the amphetamine’s active ingredient, fenethylline, is processed, “‘It gives you a kind of euphoria. You’re talkative, you don’t sleep, you don’t eat, you’re energetic.”
The drug is easy to make, he said, “requiring only basic knowledge of chemistry and a few scales.”
Besides making you feel euphoric, according to a drug control officer in Homs, Syria, the terrorists’ preferred stimulant also apparently makes you almost impervious to pain.
‘We would beat them, and they wouldn’t feel the pain. Many of them would laugh while we were dealing them heavy blows,” the officer reportedly said. “‘We would leave the prisoners for about 48 hours without questioning them while the effects of Captagon wore off, and then interrogation would become easier.”
Foreign Policy says Captagon is so popular that factories are hiring more workers, and it seems the terror drug business isn’t going away, at least not for now.