~Every terrorist on Earth.
When the first picture of ISIS in a caravan of brand new matching Toyota trucks came out, I thought it looked a bit over-produced. The official story was – I kid you not – that 800 ISIS fighters overwhelmed 30,000 Iraqi soldiers who ran away leaving all their American equipment behind. I thought it was weird but I didn’t report on it because yes it was possible that ISIS stole these vehicles from the Iraqis. (No mention, however, that standard operating procedure is to destroy equipment falling into enemy hands if possible, no questions asked, no permission from Congress required. They could have droned them that week on the way to Yemen! But seriously, remember the outrage over Operation Fast & Furious – it’s not cool for people to murder innocents on your dime.)
As the months have gone on, however, I can’t help but wonder how the now 15,000 strong “ISIS force” is still fully supplied with arms, vehicles, fuel, ammunition, food and water, as well as having an organization so well-developed that it can take over oil production and banking like a sovereign nation, produce videos like Hollywood and push out social media like only David Axelrod has done before, not to mention cropping up fully entrenched in far flung places like Afghanistan and Libya.
So now I go back to the Toyotas. Why is it that every terrorist everywhere has these same Toyota Hilux trucks and why does the US seem to give them out like candy on Halloween? Today’s Wall Street Journal published the latest report of the US supplying Toyotas to radical Islamists:
“A team of four to six rebels will each be given a Toyota Hi-Lux pickup, outfitted with a machine gun, communications gear and Global Positioning System trackers enabling them to call in airstrikes.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-to-give-some-syria-rebels-ability-to-call-airstrikes-1424208053 Note, the “rebels” in that article are the radical Islamists who seeded and cooperated with ISIS. To wit, “According to one Free Syrian Army commander, the combining of forces with ISIS was needed in order to achieve ‘the greater good.’” http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/09/isis-army-parades-in-43-new-toyota-hilux-trucks-donated-by-us-taxpayers/ I’m sure they’re over that now, though, and would never use their new-found power to summon up the awesome might of the US Air Force not to attack ISIS but to target their real enemy–their reason for being–the internationally-recognized legitimate government of Syria.
Supplying the Syrian “rebels” with Toyota Hiluxes is nothing new, however. From April 2014: “Specific equipment like the Toyota Hiluxes are what we refer to as force enablers for the moderate opposition forces on the ground.” http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-04-01/one-toyota-pickup-truck-top-shopping-list-free-syrian-army-and-taliban
And it’s not only the Islamic State in Syria & the Levant or al Nusra Front that digs the Toyota…terrorists in Africa love them too!
“Several thousand Boko Haram fighters drove into the city of Maiduguri around dawn in armored cars, tanks, brand-new Toyota pickup trucks and motorbikes, officials and witnesses said.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/boko-haram-launches-new-assault-on-key-nigerian-city-of-maiduguri-1422784144?tesla=y
“The militants arrived on motorcycles and Toyota Hilux trucks, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes in broad daylight, destroying homes and businesses and killing villagers.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/magazine/inside-the-vigilante-fight-against-boko-haram.html
I’m sure it’s just that Toyotas are uniquely suited to terrorist activity in the Arc of Crisis so no matter which side you’re on, you’re going for the Toyota. That’s what this article claims, anyway: Why rebels and insurgent groups the world over love the Toyota Hilux pickup as much as their AK-47s. What the article fails to explain, however, is where every insurgency in the world is getting the money to buy its vehicle of choice. When I didn’t have a job, I drove around in a 1972 Maverick (called “The Grabber”) with over 145,000 miles on it that I got as a gift and sold for $45. I would have loved a brand new Toyota Hilux, but it takes money to choose your car, not to mention buy one for all your friends. We might want to pursue this line of questioning about all of the fancy gear and organizational capability ISIS is flashing these days.* Unfortunately, there are plenty of reports that the money is coming from the US and its allies. Perhaps the proof is in the pick-up…
But it’s not just new Toyotas that smack of American sourcing…Here are a couple of weird pictures of American vehicles – clearly not confiscated from the Iraqi military – offering aid and comfort to the enemy….
The owner of Mark-1 Plumbing didn’t like seeing the used truck he sold in Texas in the news as an ISIS vehicle (http://shareverything.com/2014/12/18/american-used-cars-used-by-isis/):
…I just wish CarMax or whatever American used car lot is supplying ISIS with vehicles would at least take the tags and decals off first. Hopefully Warren Buffet’s newly acquired Berkshire Hathaway Automotive will do a better job.
*UPDATE: Mystery solved! This just in from Fox News:
ISIS Harvesting Organs to Fund Terror?