October 7, 2015, - 5:20 pm

Why Does ISIS Have So Many Toyota Trucks? & Why Won’t Toyota Stop It?

By Debbie Schlussel


I’ve been out for the last two days in observance of the last of the Jewish holidays, this month, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. But an interesting story came up in my absence. If you’ve watched the many videos of ISIS convoys driving through the various towns the Islamic terrorist group has taken, you’ve probably noticed that ISIS drives trucks from one brand: Toyota. But if you haven’t noticed, the feds and other Western law enforcement authorities have noticed. And if you notice a Sunni Muslim buying a Toyota truck to be shipped overseas, you should definitely take notice. Here’s why . . . .

Not only does ISIS prefer Toyota trucks, particularly HiLux pickup trucks and Land Cruiser SUVs, but it is apparently asking ISIS supporters to purchase those trucks for the group. Oh, and by the way, you sent ’em some of those trucks, too, courtesy of the U.S. State Department and its aid to “non-extremist” Muslim rebels, including the Free Syrian Army, who either gave them to ISIS when they defected to the group, or who had their Toyota HiLuxes taken when ISIS captured and/or killed them.

The feds are seeking assistance from Toyota to help track who is buying the trucks, but Toyota isn’t really helping and is pleading ignorance, saying it has already told dealerships in the Middle East not to sell to terrorists. But I think we all know that these dealerships, most of them in Sunni countries, know exactly where the trucks are going, but with a wink and a nod–cha-ching!–the sale is made. The dealerships not only make money on the sales, but they help their Sunni brethren in the jihad.


U.S. counter-terror officials have asked Toyota, the world’s second largest auto maker, to help them determine how ISIS has managed to acquire the large number of Toyota pick-up trucks and SUVs seen prominently in the terror group’s propaganda videos in Iraq, Syria and Libya, ABC News has learned. Toyota says it does not know how ISIS obtained the vehicles and is “supporting” the inquiry led by the Terror Financing unit of the Treasury Department — part of a broad U.S. effort to prevent Western-made goods from ending up in the hands of the terror group. . . .

Toyota has a “strict policy to not sell vehicles to potential purchasers who may use or modify them for paramilitary or terrorist activities,” Lewis said. He said it is impossible for the company to track vehicles that have been stolen, or have been bought and re-sold by middlemen.

Toyota Hilux pickups, an overseas model similar to the Toyota Tacoma, and Toyota Land Cruisers have become fixtures in videos of the ISIS campaign in Iraq, Syria and Libya, with their truck beds loaded with heavy weapons and cabs jammed with terrorists. The Iraqi Ambassador to the United States, Lukman Faily, told ABC News that in addition to re-purposing older trucks, his government believes ISIS has acquired “hundreds” of “brand new” Toyotas in recent years.

“This is a question we’ve been asking our neighbors,” Faily said. “How could these brand new trucks… these four wheel drives, hundreds of them — where are they coming from?”

ISIS propaganda videos show gunmen patrolling Syrian streets in what appear to be older and newer model white Hilux pick-ups bearing the black caliphate seal and crossing Libya in long caravans of gleaming tan Toyota Land Cruisers. When ISIS soldiers paraded through the center of Raqqa, more than two-thirds of the vehicles were the familiar white Toyotas with the black emblems. There were small numbers of other brands including Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Isuzu.

“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. “ISIS has used these vehicles in order to engage in military-type activities, terror activities, and the like,” Wallace told ABC News. “But in nearly every ISIS video, they show a fleet — a convoy of Toyota vehicles and that’s very concerning to us.”

Toyota says many of the vehicles seen in ISIS videos are not recent models. “We have procedures in place to help ensure our products are not diverted for unauthorized military use,” said [Ed] Lewis, [a top American]Toyota executive. But, Lewis added, “It is impossible for Toyota to completely control indirect or illegal channels through which our vehicles could be misappropriated.”

Questions about the ISIS use of Toyota vehicles have circulated for years. In 2014, a report by the radio broadcaster Public Radio International noted that the U.S. State Department delivered 43 Toyota trucks to Syrian rebels. A more recent report in an Australian newspaper said that more than 800 of the trucks had been reported missing in Sydney between 2014 and 2015, and quoted terror experts speculating that they may have been exported to ISIS territory.

Attempts to track the path of the trucks into ISIS hands has proven complicated for U.S. and Iraqi officials. Toyota’s own figures show sales of Hilux and Land Cruisers tripling from 6,000 sold in Iraq in 2011 to 18,000 sold in 2013, before sales dropped back to 13,000 in 2014. Brigadier General Saad Maan, an Iraqi military spokesman, told ABC News he suspects that middlemen from outside Iraq have been smuggling the trucks into his country. . . .

Toyota distributors in the region contacted by ABC News said they did not know how the trucks reached ISIS. Sumitomo, a Japanese conglomerate that ships vehicles to the region, wrote to ABC News, “In terms of how anyone operating outside of the law obtain vehicles for misappropriation, we have no way to know and therefore cannot comment.”

Riiiight. They can track them, but they don’t want to. It’s bad for biz. They’d rather triple their sales than shrink them geometrically.

Wallace, of the Counter Extremism Project, said his organization wrote directly to Toyota earlier this year to urge the company to do more to track the flow of trucks to ISIS, and noted that the trucks are stamped with traceable identification numbers. “I don’t think Toyota’s trying to intentionally profit from it, but they are on notice now and they should do more,” Wallace said. “They should be able to figure it out… how are these trucks getting there. I think they should disclose that, put a stop to that, and put policies and procedures in places that are real and effective to make sure that we don’t see videos of ISIS using Toyota trucks in the future.”

Good luck with that. It won’t happen until Japan experiences domestic terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS. And that ain’t happening soon. We in the U.S. and Europe are ISIS’ top targets outside the Middle East.

Watch the video report at ABC News (it does not include embedding code, so I cannot post it here).

Hmmm . . . in a weird coincidence, Toyota makes a car called the Isis. Maybe it’s time to stop production on it. It’s definitely well past time for Toyota to crack down on those selling its trucks to ISIS and friends.


Toyota’s ISIS Model

BTW, while it took the feds a while to discover that ISIS has a mysterious ability to get so many Toyota trucks and is only now investigating, some smart aleck discovered it over a year ago and posted the video below on YouTube, then.

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26 Responses

Hmmm… instead of stopping shipment of these cars, why not equip them with hidden tracking units…

If you’re so sure these Toyotas are bought by ISIS supporters, and sent to ISIS, that’s the way to track and eliminate hidden targets…

hmmm on October 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm

So, let me get this straight. We can investigate and fine Toyota and others for exploding air bags that killed 7 and injured about 100, but we can’t put the thumb screws on them for turning a blind eye to this? This IS actual material support to terrorism, right? What am I missing?

Sean M on October 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm

So now the car dealershpis will be required to have their customers fill a new form: “I pledge I won’t use this Toyota truck in terrorism-related activities”? C’mon, the dealership makes a sale and that’s it. Or you’re proposing that big brother now be required to come to Honda, Toyota, GM, etc. and start bothering customers and making the process of buying a car as troublesome as boarding a plane? What’s next, register in your local town hall if you want to buy a lawn-mower? A set of kitchen knives?

Daniel Rubio on October 7, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Daniel, the gov’t already has forms the dealership is supposed to fill out if you paid cash for ANY vehicle in the U.S. It’s supposed to help feds find dope dealers that were buying lots of vehicles for cash. Several Oklahoma dealers were charged with money laundering some time ago for intentionally failing to submit those forms.

    WilliamMunny on October 8, 2015 at 12:16 pm

The West is willing to sell Islamic terrorists the proverbial rope to hang it with.

Nothing will get done b/c there’s a lot of money to be made.

And it talks louder than pledges to root out Islamic terrorism.

NormanF on October 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm


If you remember about 20 years ago, Toyota pick-ups were used by the Chadians to fight the Libya in 1987. There is a pattern here.

Do you think that Toyota Trucks are build like tanks?

Gut Voch.

Doc Holiday on October 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm

If Toyota was really interested in stopping the shipment of its trucks to Jihadi organizations – it’s not just ISIS, but al Qaeda too that had those trucks in Afghanistan -it would simply stop shipping to Islamic countries.

In terms of a market, there ain’t much of a population there: in the Arab and Iran countries, people are rich enough to afford it but there ain’t too many of them, while in Pakistan, while there may be a sizable market, not too many can afford it.

I’d suggest just boycotting them, and go w/ Honda, Isuzu, Subaru, et al.

Infidel on October 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm

The Government of Japan allows Toyota to get away with this nonsense. That is why we have “Toyota Terror”. What should happen is that Toyota should face criminal liability for knowingly selling its vehicles to a criminal organization and its members. I would love to see a RICO prosecution against Toyota.

Worry on October 7, 2015 at 10:21 pm

These new trucks will fill the void if there is one between the 2500 or so Hummers we left for the Iraq that they picked up.

Ed SUnderland on October 8, 2015 at 9:52 am

Our policy should now be to target and blowup any convoy of Toyota trucks in the middle east.

Frank on October 8, 2015 at 10:15 am

Had a friend who did a 6-month adventure tour through deepest darkest Africa, seeing all the sights. You buy a new 4 wheel drive at the bottom of the tour and sell it 6 months later.

He says buying the Toyota was the best decision of his life. All the others got stuck in the mud, had tires fall off, shook their bearings and lugnuts loose, and required regular maintenance every day after their caravan came to a stop. The Toyota just handled everything and kept on going.

So there is some definite reason to why ISIS proudly chooses Toyota. They may be evil, but they aren’t stupid.

luagha on October 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Isn’t asking the dealers to ensure that the trucks are not being sold to terrorists about the same as making sure that firearms aren’t going to be sold to bad guys?

JB: Nope. We’re asking for their help, not demanding they do certain things. Plus, we don’t do background checks on Toyota buyers like we do on gun purchasers. And it would be easy for Toyota to watch for bulk purchases of Toyota trucks in the Middle East. We’re talking about a few hundred truck purchasers versus hundreds of millions of gun purchasers. DS

Jack Beauregard on October 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm

If ISIS preferred Fords or Chevys I would bet that Ford and Chevy would find a way to get those vehicles shipped to the Middle-East.
So I’m slow to judge Toyota too harshly, because I don’t think any other company would do anything differently.
Money always trumps lives.

Steve G on October 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm

I don’t think this is an issue! Toyota should not be forced to track its users, just like the USA should not track American Citizens. land cruisers and other Toyota cars have been in use by the USAID, the UN and number of Americans. Now what we have is abject failure in that region and for that I do blame our own Administration.

Steve Gardality on October 8, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Why should Toyota be blamed if their vehicles are ultimately sold to Islamic terrorists? A far more immediate and serious problem is that our own US Government, working with its ally Saudi Arabia, has policies and practices that do more to advance Islamic terrorism worldwide than Toyota ever did. And this problem goes deeper than President Obama, who transparently favors any and all Islamic causes. The CIA from the top on down is riddled with pro-Islamist operatives.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with this reality that when a lawsuit against Saudia Arabia was filed by the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US Government did everything in its power to shield Saudia Arabia. Most importantly, the US Government blocked evidence from being obtained and introduced that would be favorable to the plaintiffs. Of course, the US Government claimed it did so under the standard “national security” alibi, but that argument’s rubbish. The US Government won’t let anything come to light about 911 because the crime was a joint CIA black ops-Saudi Arabia criminal enterprise. Anyone who believes that the crime of the century was conducted solely by a band of Saudi amateur pilots and assistants under the nose of the US Government, which had been tracking the moves of those individuals at all stages of their activities, is a fool.

However, I have to give credit to the CIA this time around. When they were involved in the JFK assassination back in the early 1960s, they neglected to infiltrate the JFK research community, and as a result, those researchers managed to provide the real facts about what happened and they destroyed the Warren Commission lie perpetrated by the US Government. But this time around, the CIA was already set up their own “911 Truthers” to subvert the truth. Thus, the legitimate 911 researchers are few and far between today and nearly all are funded or supported by the CIA. The goal of the phony “911 Truther” movement is to point the finger away from the CIA and to direct it at Israel. Thus, the “911 Truth” movement is effectively a leftist, anti-Israel community dedicated to subverting the truth. As a result, the public has successfully been kept in the dark and confused about what really happened.

The CIA has definitely gotten smarter and more dangerous, while the American people have become dumber and dumber. So dumb, in fact, that some 50% actually believe the US Government’s lie that JFK was killed by Lee Oswald, despite the mountain of evidence proving otherwise by competent, diligent, and independent researchers.

Ralph Adamo on October 8, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Ahem, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Piggity, piggity, piggity, . . .


Hmmmmmmmmmmm, DOUBLE hmmmmmmmmm.

Piggity, piggity, piggity, piggity, . . .

well, I mean, what am I supposed to do? Be myself, I guess, which means The Resident Johnny One Note Strikes Again.

You need me to say it again? Of course not. By the way, Steve G’s last line and Mr. Adamo’s post are striking in their profundity.

(i) Elections don’t mean anything anymore;
(ii) America is finished;
(iii) This is God’s Will, but he will wipe away every tear;
(iv) Soon, we will all die horribly, or be taken captive;
(v) America is finished;
(vi) Prepare to die horribly;
(vii) America is already finished.

By the way, this article is evidence of something else I’ve said ad nauseaum. [Eyes rolling throughout the stadium]

Let us bow our heads and remember the immortal words of Jimmy Hoffa.

“Sooner or later, everybody does business with everybody.”

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on October 8, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    So I guess I now know who’s the utterly insane one on this site.

    Get a grip Alfredo.

    You’re not doing anyone any favors with your brand of lunacy.

    Jack Beauregard on October 9, 2015 at 9:15 am

      The truth about the serious nature of the times that we live in doesn’t always sound sane or coherent. That doesn’t make it any less truthful.

      I don’t take the times we live in lightly. I’ll be 59 REAL soon, within days. I’ve been watching our destruction up close and personal since The Cultural Pancake Flip began on November 22, 1963.

      I told you all the truth in my previous post. We’re done in America, and that’s all there is to it. But this IS from God Almighty, and He will, as promised, at some point step in to clean up Mankind’s mess, and wipe away every tear.

      Something wrong with that? The truth never seems to sound right in upside down, inside out times, but what I’ve said here IS the truth.

      Alfredo from Puerto Rico on October 9, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Two valid quotations here:

    “Money always trumps lives.”–Steve G.

    “Sooner or later, everybody does business with everybody.”–Jimmy Hoffa

    Here’s a third:

    “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”–Franklyn D. Roosevelt

    And, of course, we should also know our own US history; though, unfortunately, a lot of the important material was skipped in your school classes. For example, not only did Ford Motor provide the Nazis with vehicles, but General Motors did as well. And Standard Oil (a predecessor company of Exxon) did its part to fuel the Nazi empire. And so on, and so forth. The US companies that have been helping America’s enemies throughout history make Toyota look like pikers.

    Ralph Adamo on October 9, 2015 at 2:09 pm

What I dont understand is WHY THESE CONVOYS ARE NOT BOMBED? I mean with their drones, the US can sight them very easily from high above and can eliminate them very easily. No place to hide in the desert. Unless of course Obama gave strict instructions not to target them…..Now, I understand that Putin is pulverizing them…..

Isaac MBazbaz on October 9, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Issac, you ask: “Why aren’t the conveys bombed?” Please see my Franklin D. Roosevelt quotation.

    And Roosevelt should know. He could have helped to prevent the Holocaust during WWII by bombing the railroads tracks leading to the death camps and destroying the camps themselves. The Roosevelt government knew all about the Nazis’ death camps and objectives.

    A key establishment figure influencing Roosevelt’s decision not to end the Holocaust was John J. McCloy, a key representative of the real power interests behind US Government policy. And by the way, when the Warren Commission was assembled to cover up the CIA’s and the military’s involvement in JFK assassination, John J. McCloy was appointed to the Warren Commission, along with Allen Dulles and Gen. Charles Cabell, two of the CIA’s top leaders that JFK fired. (“Conveniently,” Cabell’s brother Earle was Mayor of Dallas at the time so that the Dallas Police would follow orders and not do any investigations.) But the CIA had the late word, and “fired” JFK because, among other things, he was putting a stop to the US Government’s plans to begin the Vietnam War in earnest.

    Ralph Adamo on October 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      The worst racists and bigots in US history have been Democrats, starting with Jackson. Alexander Hamilton was opposed to slavery.

      But the way to deal with Islam, like any other metastatic cancer, is with chemotherapy and radiation.

      Occam's Tool on October 11, 2015 at 10:15 pm

Toyota’s ISIS Model

Hmm… it’d be pretty hard to fire a RPG out of that minivan. Maybe they could use them as mobile rape-squad vehicles.

DS_ROCKS! on October 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm

It would make sense for ISIS to run only one brand, since that makes it easier (and cheaper) to stock parts. No doubt they did road testing to see which SUV operated and handled best in Syria and Iraq, which were the most reliable, and which were most easily modified for various purposes.

I’m willing to bet that higher-ups in Saudi are purchasing and then delivering these vehicles to ISIS. It’s probably fairly easy for them to claim these were purchased for government or corporate fleets.

adam on October 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm

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