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US-led coalition destroys ISIS drug cache — including 300,000 so-called ‘Jihadi pills’

June 23, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
US-led coalition destroys ISIS drug cache — including 300,000 so-called ‘Jihadi pills’

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The US-led international coalition to overthrow the ISIS of Iraq and Syria dismantled a large drug stockpile, including Captagon known as the “jihadi pill” on June 12th in territories previously controlled by the terrorist group.

The drugs worth approximately $1.4 million, according to a news release from Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Despite [ISIS’] facade of Islamic purity, its terrorists are known drug users and traffickers,” the coalition indicated in the release. “The cache included more than 300,000 Captagon pills, an illegal drug frequently trafficked and used by [ISIS].”

Captagon is an extremely addictive amphetamine-based drug that is illegal in many countries. The drug keeps people awake and alert for extended amounts of time and can help numb pain. The drug’s primary ingredient is fenethylline, a chemical mixture of amphetamine and theophylline.

The drug is sometimes called the “Jihadi pill,” because of its popularity among ISIS members.

In one case, 122 Chinese-manufactured automatic weapons were discovered in an ISIS stockpile south of Mosul, Iraq.

Each firearm was affixed with one to three pouches packed with a powder that was a “performance enhancing amphetamine,” Conflict Armament Research, a U.K.-based investigative organization, the Military Times reported.

These results were outlined in a report published in December titled “Weapons of the Islamic State: A three-year investigation in Iraq and Syria.”

The most recent narcotics stash was discovered by a local partner force called the Maghawir al-Thawra, or Commandos of the Revolution. The fighters were carrying out counter-ISIS missions in southern Syria within a 55-kilo deconfliction zone near Al Tanf last month.

Partner forces actively guard the Al Tanf deconfliction zone to obstruct and prevent ISIS operations in the area.

The Switzerland-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime executed a study in 2016 examining the amphetamine phenomenon among ISIS members.

“Captagon has emerged as a drug to sustain the war,” the report stated. “The level of conflict within Syria has forced traffickers to move production of Captagon to Lebanon and Turkey and other countries within the region including Sudan.”

The drug’s production in Syria has been taking place for at least a decade. However, the civil war exploited the breakdown of the law, enhancing drug trafficking and the enrichment of actors in the war.

It is not clear whether the militant group was ever a net-exporter of the drug, or remained merely a consumer.

Seizing and destroying drugs, weapons, and other contraband reduces ISIS’ abilities to fund and conduct combat operations, according to Major General James Jarrard, the commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force within Operation Inherent Resolve.

“This is another example of their dedication and professionalism in the fight against Daesh and the protection of southern Syria,” he stated.

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