The US wants to know where Daesh gets its fancy Toyota pickup trucks

Published October 8th, 2015 - 04:30 GMT
Daesh militants ride in Toyota Hilux pickups through the streets of the group's de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa. (Twitter)
Daesh militants ride in Toyota Hilux pickups through the streets of the group's de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa. (Twitter)

The US Department of Treasury launched an investigation to determine how the Islamic State (Daesh) militant group acquired so many Toyota vehicles.

Toyota, the world's second largest auto maker, said it is fully cooperating with the investigation, which is part of a broader look at the terrorist group's financing. ABC News first reported the investigation led by the Treasury Department's Terror Financing unit.

Toyota is "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 US Treasury Department's broader inquiry into international supply chains and the flow of capital and goods in the Middle East," Toyota spokesperson Ed Lewis said.

Lewis said the company has a "strict policy" against selling to buyers who may use their vehicles for terrorist activities, but it is impossible for any automaker to completely control how vehicles are used or resold. He suggested the investigation look to private companies as well.

IS propaganda videos show gunman patrolling Syrian streets in what appears to be new and older models of Toyota's Hilux pick-up trucks and Toyota Land Cruisers.

The Treasury Department would not comment about the specifics of the investigation, but said there is an ongoing effort to understand IS -- also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL -- financing.

"In line with our usual approach to understanding ISIL's financial and economic activities, we are working closely with foreign counterparts and stakeholders worldwide," the Treasury Department said.

By Amy R. Connolly


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