What ISIS Likes to Drink to Stay Awake

Militants fueled by Red Bull have taken control of Turkish-Syrian border trade
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2014 3:50 PM CST
What ISIS Likes to Drink to Stay Awake
ISIS militants are eagerly accepting Turkish imports of Red Bull, cement, and vegetable oil, among other items.   (Shutterstock)

Red Bull gives you wings, and if you're an Islamic militant, apparently, extra stamina to keep fighting. Turkish traders are shipping the energy drink and other items into Syria across borders that are controlled by rebels belonging to ISIS, the Free Syrian Army, and the Islamic Front, and business is apparently booming: According to trade stats out of Ankara, Turkey sent $1.3 billion in goods to Syria through September, its highest total for a nine-month period ever recorded, Bloomberg reports. Those who wield power over the border—and right now that's militants in at least three border towns—are the ones who reap the profits, pocketing tolls and fees from transporters.

While Turkish customs and economy officials either wouldn't comment or didn't respond to Bloomberg, the owner of a Turkish trucking company said that "every day we have four or five trucks carrying Red Bulls to Syria." He adds that those picking up the goods on the Syrian side don't ID themselves, and the imports are then loaded onto Syrian trucks and driven away. Meanwhile, caffeinated militants may also be fortified by the "good wives of jihadi": The Independent recently documented a new ISIS media arm that posts and tweets out nursing, morale, and cooking advice for militants' wives, including recipes to "replenish the mujahidin." (Here's how you can get your portion of a $13 million Red Bull payout.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.