It appears that the U.S. Treasury is officially asking Toyota why their trucks keep showing up on CNN carrying ISIS radicals and machine guns all over the Middle East. Poor Toyota, all they did was make a great desert utility vehicle and the dang terrorists had to go and make them look like an official sponsor of evil.

ABC reports that the Treasury currently is examining how terrorists get their money and goods, and just happened to notice that pretty much every jihadist on the news is waving an ominous black flag or murdering people from the tray of a Toyota truck, nicknamed “technicals.”

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I’m sure a Toyota PR person gets a few grey hairs every time their vehicles are prominently featured in a Death To America parade.

CEO of the Counter Extremism Project and a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace told ABC; “Regrettably, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux have effectively become almost part of the ISIS brand.”

Yikes. Forget grey hairs, that’s enough to give a Toyota company man high blood pressure for life.

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Apparently the Iraqi government thinks ISIS has not only been militarizing old Toyotas, but getting their hands on “hundreds” of brand new ones recently. Hence the concern over what Toyota might be able to do to stop extremist murderers from buying their vehicles.

Toyota’s official response is exactly what you’d expect: basically, “this really sucks but we can’t control what anyone does with our products after they get sold.” Here’s the full text:

“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. 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. We are committed to complying fully with the laws and regulations of each country or region where we operate, and require our dealers and distributors to do the same. We are supporting the U.S. Treasury Department’s broader inquiry into international supply chains and the flow of capital and goods in the Middle East.”

Toyota trucks are pretty much a preferred standard for reliable utility. I mean, you could say the same about the AK-47. Speaking of which the Treasury should probably drop Kalashnikov a line about this too.

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As our own Tyler Rogoway of Foxtrot Alpha pointed out, if third parties are buying large fleets of these vehicles new and then turning them over to ISIS, identifying exactly who owns these companies and stopping the transfer would definitely hinder transport capabilities for the terrorist group.

This unfortunate association feels quite a bit like the story of those Texas plumbers who made the mistake of leaving their logo on a truck they traded to a dealership. The dealer liquidated it, and some series of steps later it ended up on a damn terrorist Twitter account with an enormous gun strapped to the back.

Hat tip to Autoblog and ABC!


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.