Counter-terrorism organizations have long recognized the connection between illegal drugs and Islamic terrorism. While these drugs are not forbidden in Islamic scripture, as alcohol is, most Islamic scholars and clerics condemn drug use by Moslems. Yet one of the appeals of Islamic terrorism is the tendency of these groups to point out that there is a long tradition of “Holy Warriors” (what the rest of the world calls Islamic terrorists) using these drugs in various useful ways. For example clerics who support Islamic terrorism say it is justified to manufacture and sell these drugs to infidels (non-Moslems) to raise money for the cause and weaken the enemy. It is also accepted for Islamic terrorists to use drugs to get in the proper mood to carry out suicidal attacks (and blood tests of dead terrorist first revealed this) and to unwind after some high stress combat. Some Islamic sects allow some drug use to help get into a more meditative mood and get closer to God. That practice is ancient and persists in many other religions.
Drug use by Islamic terrorists is nothing new and it has existed at least since the 11th century. The first recorded users were the Hassassins (or "hashasheen" or users of hashish) of 11th century Iran. The training back then was similar to what many Islamic terrorists groups still use today. There was liberal use of hashish to provide a taste of paradise for new recruits.
The Hassassins began when a Iranian minor noble with a grudge and excellent organizational skills created a network of suicide assassins who were convinced they were doing God’s Will. The Hassassins thrived, and killed, for many decades until the Mongols came along and destroyed their impregnable mountain fortress. The Mongols were not afraid of suicide assassins but were annoyed by them. Back then, annoying the Mongols was almost always fatal.
The current crop of suicide terrorists do not provide a single fortress to go after, so the Mongol approach of overwhelming force applied to one objective will not work. But the fearless Mongol attitude towards terrorism should be remembered.
Hashish (cannabis, or marijuana, resin) has long been an Islamic terrorist favorite, as are more modern recreational substances like heroin, cocaine and especially amphetamine pills. The most popular form of meth is actually Captagon, which is the trade name for fenethylline, a synthetic drug that has the same effects as amphetamine but with fewer bad side effects (like increased blood pressure). Fenethylline is still pretty potent and by the 1980s most countries had either outlawed it or made it a prescription drug. Now the most common form of fenethylline is Captagon, which is widely available in the Middle East. Fenethylline is even manufactured by ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in a captured drug factory using raw materials smuggled in from Turkey. Captagon is considered a major problem in the Middle East because there is so much illegal use of it. It is the stimulant of choice among many Syrian rebels as well as pro-government forces.