(From Washington Free Beacon)
By Morgan Chalfant
Officials in the Terror Financing unit of the U.S. Treasury Department are probing how the Islamic State has obtained a large number of Toyota vehicles, asking the automaker to help determine how the terror group came to possess the pick-up trucks and SUVs.
Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks and Land Cruisers have become prevalent in propaganda videos published by the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL or ISIS) that show the terror group moving through Syria and Iraq and into Libya.
ABC News reported that Toyota claims that it does not know how IS obtained the vehicles but is “supporting” the probe, which is part of a larger initiative to prevent IS from getting ahold of Western-manufactured goods.
“We briefed Treasury on Toyota’s supply chains in the Middle East and the procedures that Toyota has in place to protect supply chain integrity,” Toyota executive Ed Lewis explained.
Lewis said that Toyota has a “strict policy to not sell vehicles to potential purchasers who may use or modify them for paramilitary or terrorist activities,” but that the manufacturer cannot track trucks that have been stolen by IS or purchased by the group through middlemen.
“It is impossible for Toyota to completely control indirect or illegal channels through which our vehicles could be misappropriated,” Lewis said.
According to Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the United States, the Iraqi government suspects that the Islamic State has obtained “hundreds” of “brand new” Toyotas in the past few years in addition to the older vehicles that it has acquired. Read more