Photo Credit: Paul L Dineen/Flickr
Toyota Motor Corp., one of the leading automakers in the world, was reportedly approached by the U.S. counter- terror officials and questioned over the extensive availability of their vehicles to the jihadist military group ISIS.
The Terror Financing unit of the Treasury Department turned their attention to the Japanese automotive manufacturer after they noticed a large number of the company’s vehicles like the Toyota Hilux Pick-ups and Toyota Land Cruisers in the videos shared by the Mideast terror group, ABC News reported.
Though several vehicles shown in the ISIS campaign videos looked very old, there were also a large number of brand new vehicles, leaving many to question the source of the vehicles.
“This is a question we’ve been asking our neighbors,” Lukman Faily, the Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S. said, while talking to ABC News. “How could these brand new trucks… these four wheel drives, hundreds of them — where are they coming from?”
However, it looks like Toyota has little information on how its vehicles have ended up in the hands of the Islamic State. The company responded in a statement that it was not aware of the sources, but was “supporting” the U.S. Treasury Department’s efforts to stop the Western-made goods from reaching the terrorists, Autoblog.com reported.
“Toyota has a strict policy to not sell vehicles to potential purchasers who may use or modify them for paramilitary or terrorist activities, and we have procedures and contractual commitments in place to help prevent our products from being diverted for unauthorized military use,” a statement released by the company read.
“However, it is impossible for any automaker to control indirect or illegal channels through which our vehicles could be misappropriated, stolen or re-sold by independent third parties.”
This could be true as a large number of Toyota Hilux models went missing from the streets of Sydney between the year 2014 and 2015. The 834 Hilux models stolen during the period were feared to have been shipped via Turkey to Syria.
Toyota is one of the favored choices of the militants. A report released by Public Radio International (PRI) in 2014 lists 43 Toyota trucks among the non-lethal aid provided by the U.S. to Syrian rebels.