US counterterrorism officials have launched an inquiry to determine how the Daesh (ISIL) terror network is in possession of a large number of Toyota vehicles seen prominently in its propaganda videos in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
The US Treasury Department is seeking information from Toyota about its pickup trucks and SUVs in the hands of ISIL terrorists, ABC News reports.
Toyota says it does not know how the terrorist organization got hold of the vehicles and is “supporting” the inquiry led by the Terror Financing unit of the Treasury.
The automaker said in a statement that the probe is part of a broad US effort to prevent the flow of capital and goods from international companies to Daesh in the Middle East.
“[We are] 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,” the statement said.
Propaganda videos released by ISIL in the past year show militants patrolling their territory in Hilux pickup trucks and convoys of Land Cruisers.
The Daily Telegraph reported in August that more than 800 Toyota Hilux pickup trucks were reported missing in Sydney, Australia, between 2014 and 2015. Terrorism officials said they believed the vehicles may have been exported to territory controlled by ISIL.
Toyota’s figures show sales of Hilux and Land Cruisers tripled in 2013 in Iraq before declining in 2014.
An Iraqi military spokesman told ABC News that middlemen from outside the country have been smuggling the trucks into Iraq.
“We are spending our time to fight those terrorists, so we cannot say we are controlling the border between Iraq and Syria,” Brigadier General Saad Maan said.
Daesh militants have also acquired a large number of US military vehicles as spoils of the US war in Iraq.