Why Is The Most Popular Truck in the Middle East Used by Terrorists?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

(Probably because it’s the most popular truck.)

Automotive News reported that Toyota is cooperating with U.S. authorities in uncovering why members of the terrorist group ISIS seem to be so fond of Toyota Hiluxes and Land Cruisers, which consistently rank among the top 5 best-selling vehicles for many Middle Eastern countries, prompted by an investigation* by ABC News.

The automaker said the company forbids directly selling cars to paramilitary or terrorist organizations because of course it does. The company said it would be impossible to control indirect or illegal sales to terrorist organizations because of course it is.

ABC News hasn’t reached out to Ford to see how it controls sales of F-150 trucks to American drug cartels.

The Hilux and Land Cruiser consistently appear in propaganda for ISIS, which prompted officials from the U.S. Treasury to ask Toyota if it was directly supplying an armed conflict in the Middle East with trucks. Haaretz reports:

“Regrettably, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux have effectively become almost part of the ISIS brand,” said Mark Wallace, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who is CEO of the Counter Extremism Project, a non-profit working to expose the financial support networks of terror groups.

According to Automotive News, Toyota officials said it has “procedures and contractual commitments in place to help prevent our products from being diverted for unauthorized military use.”

ABC News reported that based on what they saw on “Top Gear” once, Toyota Hilux pickups are pretty tough and probably reliable based on a series of “tests”.

Toyota trucks have a rich and varied history in countries where they are sold. In some places they’re used for hauling things, in other places they’re sold for going places too.

The automaker said it would end delivery to networks if it discovered those trucks were going to ISIS members.

*ABC News showed up with cameras and microphones to a Toyota dealer meeting once.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 08, 2015

    Japan does have mandatory inspections when a vehicle gets old enough that requires a vehicle of a certain age to be completely torn down. It would make sense that some of these Toyotas would be sold oversees to ISIS and the Taliban. There would be plenty of life in these vehicles and much less expensive than buying all new.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Oct 09, 2015

    ISIS: "We don't drive BMWs because we're not A-holes." From Fallon on The Tonight Show 10-9-15

  • Stephen My "mid-level" limited edition Tonino Lambo Ferraccio Junior watch has performed flawlessly with attractive understated style for nearly 20 years. Their cars are not so much to my taste-- my Acura NSX is just fine. Not sure why you have such condescension towards these excellent timepieces. They are attractive without unnecessary flamboyance, keep perfect time and are extremely reliable. They are also very reasonably priced.
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  • Mike Bradley Advertising, movies and TV, manufacturing, and car culture have all made speeding and crashing the ultimate tests of manhood. Throw in the political craziness and you've got a perfect soup of destruction and costs.
  • Lou_BC Jay Leno had said that EV's would be good since they could allow the continued existence of ICE cars for enthusiasts. That sentiment makes sense. Many buyers see vehicles as a necessary appliance.
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