What was once known as another brilliant German invention, is now turning out to be a nightmare for the modern world. Fenethylline, also known as Captagon of the “Jihadist drug” is now being increasingly found in several terror investigations. Although mainly used in the Middle East, it is now becoming more and more popular in other countries.
Captagon was first synthesized by the German Degussa AG (now known as Evonik Industries AG) in 1961. It was then used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and depression. After its initial use for about 25 years, it was put onto a restricted list of drugs due to increased reports of drug abuse.
One can observe that several planned terrorist attacks take place for days together, and the terrorists somehow never get tired. Well, the answer to their hyper-activity and energy is Captagon, and hence its street name – the Jihadist drug. It was only very recently that international agencies came to know that terrorist organisations are using this drug.
A drug bust in France led to the bombshell discovery
In late May 2017, a surprise drug bust at an airport in France shed light on how the drug is entering the Western world. The French customs officials released a statement in which they said they had intercepted a whopping 300 pounds or 135 kilo grams at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. They labelled the drug as the “Jihadist drug”.
They also said that this is the first ever time this drug has been seized in France. The officials first did not understand what exactly the tablet looking substance was. It is said that the drug arrived in a normal medicine container and the officials thought it was nothing but a normal medical tablet. Only on further investigation were they able to find out what the alien substance was.
ISIS and Captagon
The drug was first encountered when an ISIS prisoner confessed that the drug was used by the terrorist outfit. Later several raids by the Iraqi Army, US Army and other forces found this drug in extremely large quantities in ISIS strongholds. Prior statements by several US forces reveal that this drug is used by ISIS before almost any attack. This drug was earlier recovered in several overseas attack by ISIS.
The irony however is that ISIS claims that using drugs is against Islam. They kill anyone who is found consuming alcohol or tobacco within their territory. However, in this particular case, ISIS seems to be okay with their fighters consuming this drug. Some people say that Captagon is the only “halal” drug as per ISIS.
An article by Forbes magazine had earlier named this drug as “the drug of choice in war torn Syria”. Several drug users have said that consuming Captagon makes them feel “like they’re the king of the world and they have all the power”. Syria the major production house for the drug, and ISIS gets a huge cut from the sales of this drug.
In 2015, Turkish authorities seized 2 tonnes of Captagon during raids in the Syrian border. The pills, almost 11 million of them, had been produced in Syria and were being shipped to countries in Saudi. On 26 October 2015, Prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz of the Saudi Royal Family was detained in Beirut on charges of drug trafficking after two tons of Captagon pills were discovered in his private jet. (Source)