Sajid is a 21-year-old man who fights with Hezbollah. He has fought against the Islamic State that is comprised of Syrians, Germans, Pakistanis, Chechens, Indians, Americans, and Turks. Sajid said that many of the Islamic State fighters use fenethylline, an amphetamine, to stay focused on their mission. The synthetic drug,marketed under the brand name Captagon, is cheap and simple to make, produces a feeling of euphoria, and keeps fighters awake and energetic while suppressing their appetites. A pill that costs just pennies to produce can retail up to $20 each in Saudi Arabia where some 55 million tablets are seized each year.
The ISIS fighters, according to Sajid, had no military skills and would “just act off the top of their heads.” He said that many of them would get scared in battle and “would get cut down running away.”
Captagon was first produced in the 1960s to treat hyperactivity, narcolepsy, and depression. The pills are smuggled in trucks traveling from Syria to Lebanese ports where they are shipped to the Gulf. The sale of the pills generates hundreds of millions of dollars to partially fund weapons and supplies for the Islamic State.
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h/t Vice News