Cars from giant Japanese automaker, Toyota have been frequently seen as vehicles used by fighters of the Islamic State.
A former U.S ambassador to the United Nations who is curious about possible sponsors of the Islamic State has noted that: “the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux have effectively become almost part of the ISIS brand”
To this end, an investigation has been launched into how so many Toyotas ended up in the hands of ISIS, UK Miror reports.
The car maker’s trucks, particularly Toyota Hilux pickups and Toyota Land Cruisers, have appeared in the terror group’s propaganda videos in Iraq, Syria and Libya, loaded with heavy weapons and packed full with terrorists.
Mark Wallace, a former US Ambassador to the United Nations, who is CEO of the Counter Extremism Project, told ABC News : “Regrettably, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux have effectively become almost part of the ISIS brand.”
Toyota said it did not know how its vehicles ended up there.
Toyota spokesman Ed Lewis told CNN it was impossible for any car manufacturer to control vehicles being stolen or being resold by independent third parties.
But he said: “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.”
Mr Lewis added that the investigation into Toyota was part of a broader US Treasury enquiry looking into how money and resources reaches ISIS.