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What is Captagon, the "tablet of horror" consumed by Hamas terrorists?

Israeli security forces detected traces of the drug in the corpses of deceased terrorists.

¿Qué es el Captagon, la

This image was released by the United States Army with the ID 180531-A-JC533-098

Homes burned, corpses of civilians raped, executed, cremated alive. As Israeli forces fought off Hamas terrorists in the October 7 attacks, soldiers found evidence of a drug popularly used among jihadist fighters. It was recently discovered to also be consumed among members of Hamas: Captagon, the "poor man's cocaine" or "tablet of horror.”

The IDF (the Israel Defense Forces) found these amphetamine pills among the belongings and bodies of the terrorists, as confirmed by Roni Kaplan, Hispanic spokesperson for the Israeli Army:

Captagon is the name of the drug that we found in the bodies of the terrorists in #Hamas. The same one that the Islamic State used, even when Islam prohibits it. It was used to commit the atrocities within the framework of the 10/07 invasion.

What is Captagon and how does it act in the body?

Captagon was one of the trademark names for fenethylline, a stimulant derived from amphetamine and theophylline. The German company Degussa Pharma Gruppe began selling it in the 1960s, to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). It was also used occasionally to treat depression.

It was so addictive, however, that the scientific consensus determined that its clinical benefits did not outweigh its risks, according to The National, a newspaper specialized in the Middle East. Its long-term side effects included depression, lethargy, lack of sleep (insomnia), depression, blurred vision, vertigo, mood swings, confusion, feelings of anger or rage. These were listed in a study published by the scientific journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology.

In 1968, several countries that are part of the United Nations began banning the use of Captagon. The FDA did not approve it for use in the United States. The agency determined it has no accepted medical use and its distribution was prohibited. With its legal flow cut off, people started manufacturing an illegal version which began to flourish. It was especially popular in the Middle East, as reported by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drugs Addiction in Captagon: Understanding Today's Illicit Market.

Many countries in the Middle East regularly report seizures of a drug known as ‘Captagon’ as part of their reporting obligations to international organizations.
Captagon is also reported to be a commonly used stimulant in the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, some countries bordering the European Union...

The European agency's document also claims that until the mid-2000s production was centered in Turkey and Bulgaria, but that the available evidence indicates that since then, it has spread to several geographically dispersed countries. Lebanon and Syria are two examples of nations where Captagon production is widely documented.

Like ISIS

"Hamas is worse than ISIS (The Islamic State)." "It will be a long and drawn-out campaign against Hamas, which is basically a long and drawn-out campaign on ISIS." "They have committed evil, atrocities that make ISIS look somewhat more rational." Those statements by, in that order, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Joe Biden reveal an effort to equate the barbarities committed by Hamas on October 7 with those of ISIS. The use of Captagon lends even more argument to that comparison. Researcher and academic Łukasz Kamieński went so far as to describe lSIS as "an army of junkies,” due to this drug.

The jihadists fighting in Syria and with ISIS —says Kamieński— are reported to be given large amounts of Captagon. It is said that the drug turns them into ferocious and fearless fighters who easily perpetrate unusual violence. Therefore Captagon is often called a "tablet of horror."

In Shooting Up: A History of Drugs in Warfare, Kamieński explains that this drug reduces fear and pain. Additionally, it takes away hunger and the need for sleep, while increasing strength. In short: "Captagon is a 'good' combatant drug."

Matt Zweig, Policy Director of the NGO FDD Action, points out that the production in industrial quantities of Captagon has been a lucrative source of income for Bashar al-Assad, president of Syria, and the terrorist group Hezbollah. So Hamas probably sees Captagon not only as a stimulant for war, but also as an "additional source of funds."

If the frequent use of Captagon among the ranks of Hamas is true, the same can be said of its fighters as Kamieński says of those of ISIS: "They are, in a word, high with two intoxicants: jihad and psychostimulants."

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