The Islamic State does not just have an army. It has an army of meth heads. For ISIS fighters burning 45 people alive is a tweekers barbecue and beheading 21 Christians is a speed freak beach party. The difference between ISIS militants and your run of the mill junkie is that ISIS fighters are tweeking in the name of Islam. They are high on two drugs, amphetamines and jihad. ISIS true believers are using homemade meth produced in captured pharmaceutical plants to earn their warrior stripes and Islamic State status. Islamic ideology rationalizes the violence and the drugs transform them into Mujahideen maniacs with enhanced stamina, superhuman strength, no empathy, no fear and who literally feel no pain.
In 2014 it was widely reported that Syria was manufacturing and trafficking large amounts of amphetamines, primarily a drug called Captagon, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. Captagon, a brand name for Fenethylline, is a synthetic stimulant that is a popular recreational drug in the Middle East. As a result of the Syrian civil war the drug began to be produced on a large scale in Syria. In just one incident the Syrian Arab Army seized a tank truck containing a ton of pills. Captagon is smuggled to Lebanon which traffics it to the rest of the Gulf region. In 2014 Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) seized 55 million pills; in 2013 they seized 12.3 million; and prior to 2013 they seized less than half a million pills per year. Large scale seizures of Captagon in Lebanon were unheard of until the collapse of Syria. Several reports in August 2014 claimed that ISIS was receiving large revenues by manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine at pharmaceutical manufacturing labs they seized in Aleppo. The Aleppo plants contained the chemicals and equipment necessary to make high grade product.
Not only is ISIS trafficking drugs to help finance the war, they are giving Captagon and other drugs to their fighters to increase endurance and feelings of invincibility. Due to the production of counterfeit Captagon jihadists are ingesting pills that contain methamphetamine, ephedrine, and other drugs that are much more potent than the original Captagon name brand version. CNN interviewed a 19 year old ISIS prisoner held in a prison run by Kurdish militants in northern Syria who said “They gave us drugs," …"Hallucinogenic pills that would make you go to battle not caring if you live or die." A drug control officer in the central city of Homs was quoted in The Telegraph that he had observed the effects of Captagon on protesters and fighters held for questioning. “We would beat them, and they wouldn't feel the pain," he said. "Many of them would laugh while we were dealing them heavy blows." Kurdish civilians who escaped Kobane described ISIS fighters as drug crazed. "They are filthy, with straggly beards and long black nails. They have lots of pills with them that they all keep taking. It seems to make them more crazy if anything. They become agitated and excited, desperate to punish even children for the smallest thing.” There have also been reports that ISIS fighters are using cocaine, heroin, hashish and potent drugs, known locally as "baltcon", "afoun" and "zolm". Kurdish fighters have observed that many ISIS militants are addicted to strong drugs and report finding pills, capsules and syringes on both dead and alive ISIS militants.
Instead of simply increasing stamina and courage, the drugs have created an army of junkie zombies that are committing primal acts of savagery in the name of Islam. In Syria reports of unusual barbaric acts of violence began appearing about the same time as the large production of methamphetamine. In May 2013 a photograph showing a jihadist grilling the decapitated head of a Syrian helicopter pilot on a barbecue appeared on the internet. The same month a video appeared of another rebel jihadist who cut out and ate the heart of a government soldier. He praised Allah in the video, “I swear to God we will eat your hearts out, you soldiers of Bashar. You dogs. God is greater!”(Allahu Akbar). In April 2014 jihadists took over the Daraa prison in Syria, decapitated two soldiers and boiled their heads in a pot. In August 2014 Mark Arabo, a prominent Chaldean-American businessman, described the Christian genocide by ISIS and told CNN “There is a park in Mosul where they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick and have them in the park." The same week the Christian Post reported that a 5 year old boy named Andrew was cut in half during an attack on the Christian town of Qaraqosh.
There have been many accounts of murders where afterward the corpses were fed to the dogs. In fact, corpse abuse is quite common including: displaying heads as trophies, taking selfies with decapitated heads, playing soccer with human heads and laughing while trying to feed or place cigarettes in disarticulated heads. These atrocities in addition to crucifixions, the rape of women and children and mass executions are so prevalent it is difficult to determine if they are the result of drug induced psychopathy or are just part of Islamic State culture or both.
These particular atrocities are not depicted in Islamic State propaganda that targets Western audiences, although they appeal to many of their recruits. Official ISIS professionally produced beheading videos put out by al-Furqān Media Foundation, the media arm of the Islamic State, portray their fighters as disciplined soldiers performing ritual synchronized executions. Videos of American and British beheading victims depict the executions as vengeance for U.S. airstrikes and characterize military operations as a war against Muslims. The videos target potential recruits by portraying the Islamic State as strong, moral and protective of its followers. There is no mention of drug trafficking, rape, cannibalism or savage killings. ISIS videos that depict atrocities are primarily aimed at locals living in regions under Islamic State control and are designed to instill fear, spread panic and dissuade resistance. They also appeal to disaffected youth and wannabe gang bangers, who view the violence as Islamic State street cred. They want to join the biggest baddest gang in the world.
ISIS propaganda also neglects to mention that drug addicts are joining the Islamic State just to feed their addiction. In September 2014 the New York Times reported how ISIS successfully recruited hundreds of vulnerable young Turkish men in poor neighborhoods, many of whom were drug addicts. “Hacibayram, a ramshackle neighborhood in the heart of Ankara’s tourist district, has morphed into an ISIS recruitment hub over the past year. Locals say up to 100 residents have gone to fight for the group in Syria. ‘It began when a stranger with a long, coarse beard started showing up in the neighborhood’,…. ‘The next thing we knew, all the drug addicts started going to the mosque.” Young Turks are easily seduced because many of them already identify with Islamic Sharia law imposed by ISIS. In March 2014 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Iskenderun (PFLI), aka The Syrian Resistance, described many Qatari/Saudi jihadists, who they knew well, as drug addicts who were never even religious. They reported that they are given bags of pills to enhance their battlefield courage and observed that they are ferocious fighters during the day but are reluctant to fight at night because they are paranoid and exhausted from taking the drugs. “Many of the ‘Gulfies’ are in fact heavily addicted to strong heroin-like drugs. They crave them, and sometimes they even fight with their fellow militiamen to get their ‘fixes.’ We are told by some we capture that sometimes, when one of their comrades is killed, the fallen fighter’s ‘friends’ will descend on his body, not particularly to pray over it, but to rummage his pockets for his drugs.”
Unlike true believers who pledge allegiance to the new caliphate and join ISIS to support jihad, these are true criminals who join to get free drugs. ISIS also attracts true criminals such as pedophiles who get to indulge in child rape and psychopaths who enjoy dismembering and murdering people. After they serve their purpose they will eventually be subjected to sharia law which will only weed out the drug addicts. The pedophiles and murderers are justified under Islamic sharia law as long as their victims are non-Muslims or deemed apostates.
Islamic State messaging boasts of victories and fighters who are not afraid of death. It depicts them as nobly restoring an Islamic golden age and a glorious new caliphate attracting idealistic true believers and wannabe heroes. Unofficial ISIS propaganda conveys the message that joining the jihad results in money, drugs, sex and thrill kills - attracting everyone from tweekers, pervs and mercenaries to misfits. Islamic State realizes that to continue holding onto and expanding new territory it needs both types of fighters - true believers and true criminals. This explains why there are internal conflicts among fighters. ISIS is willing to suspend prohibitions on drug use for the goal of jihad. Unleashing an army of tweekers in the name of Islam is a war strategy. ISIS understands the nature of war involves both real and synthetically manufactured courage. It also recognizes that money is required to fund operations so human trafficking, extortion, drug trafficking, antiquities trafficking, harvesting organs and drug use are all means that justify the end goal of global domination. Once territory is conquered than strict sharia law is imposed. When ISIS fighters’ drug-induced hallucinations wear off Islamic law kicks in and the real nightmare begins.
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