Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Captagon — a potent amphetamine known as fenethylline — has been trumpeted as a “jihadi drug,” used by fighters in the conflict to improve their combat effectiveness.
Now, according a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration report obtained by Foreign Policy, Captagon production is reportedly shifting away from the Middle East and back to southeastern Europe — its original production hub. The report documents an April seizure of 120 kilograms of Captagon precursor chemical in Sofia, Bulgaria.
On May 10, Dutch investigators said they had discovered a drug lab the previous month that was churning out Captagon pills, and they were looking for two suspects associated with the lab. In March, Greek police confiscated more than 600,000 Captagon pills in a raid and arrested four people for allegedly manufacturing the drug. Greek and Dutch police haven’t said the Captagon stashes they found were destined for ISIS fighters.