WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jared Moskowitz (D-Florida) and Congressman Cory Mills (R-Florida) introduced bipartisan legislation that calls on the U.S. Government to enhance the Middle East region’s capacity to dismantle and disrupt the illicit production and trafficking of the amphetamine-type stimulant known as captagon, including the production of precursor chemicals used to create the drug.
“I was horrified to learn that captagon pills were found on the bodies of dead Hamas terrorists, allowing them to remain alert and restless as they slaughtered innocent men, women, and babies,” said Rep. Moskowitz. “This drug not only aided Hamas in their October 7th attack, but it also funds the terrorist activities of the Assad regime and Hezbollah. This bipartisan proposal is a step towards cutting off this funding source and lessening Hamas’ capabilities to commit mass murder against our ally Israel again.”
“As Israel’s strongest Western ally, the United States Government cannot turn a blind eye to how brutal dictatorships in the Middle East, like the Assad regime, are funded,” said Rep. Mills. “The reality is that illicit captagon trade is a key source of revenue outside of illegal oil trade and unfrozen assets for these bad actors. The United States must support Israel’s defense, our key ally in the Middle East, by condemning and dismantling the production and trade of illicit drug trades.
In particular, the legislation would:
- Condemn the use of captagon to enhance militant capabilities in the slaughter of 1,400 innocent men, women, children, and elderly in Israel on October 7th, 2023.
- Urge the United States to improve assistance and training to detect, deter, and disrupt Hezbollah and Fourth Division-facilitated captagon smuggling operations and broader counter-narcotics efforts.
- Urge the United States to establish an early warning system for seized captagon shared amongst key regional partners for improved identification and reporting along with establishing an interagency counter-captagon task force, encouraging regional partners to undertake cooperative law enforcement measures that enhance interdiction efforts against illicit captagon trafficking through informational exchange and forensic profiling.
Captagon is used widely across the Middle East. It is a highly addictive, synthetic stimulant that the Assad regime in Syria creates and distributes across the region. The drug was first created in the 1960s in West Germany to help treat conditions such as attention deficit disorder, depression, and narcolepsy. The drug was later banned in the 1980s, leading to the illegal production of it across the Middle East.