Terrorism: Why are Toyota products mostly used for conveyance

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The
truck is “fast, maneuverable, and packs a big punch [when it’s
mounted with] a 50-caliber [machine gun] that easily defeats body armor on
soldiers and penetrates lightly armored vehicles as well,” Alastair
Finlan, who specialises in strategic studies at Aberystwyth University in
the UK, said recently.
Hiluxes
also stand up to more than just normal vehicular wear and tear. In 2006,
British TV show “Top Gear” conducted an experiment that illustrated
this.
“The
show’s producers bought an 18-year-old Hilux diesel with 190,000 miles on the
odometer for $1,500,” Somaiya wrote for Newsweek. “They then
crashed it into a tree, submerged it in the ocean for five hours, dropped it
from about 10 feet, tried to crush it under an RV, drove it through a portable
building, hit it with a wrecking ball, and set it on fire.

“Finally,
they placed it on top of a 240-foot tower block that was then destroyed in a
controlled demolition. When they dug it out of the rubble, all it took to get
it running again was hammers, wrenches, and WD-40. They didn’t even need spare
parts.”
US
officials have recently asked Toyota to figure out why its vehicles are showing
up in so many ISIS videos.
Lukman
Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the US, said (recently) that in recent years, as
ISIS has risen to prominence in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group has
acquired hundreds of new Toyota pickup trucks.
“This
is a question we’ve been asking our neighbors,” Faily told said. “How
could these brand-new trucks … these four-wheel drives, hundreds of them —
where are they coming from?”
However,
ISIS — also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, and Daesh — is far from the first
terrorist group to favor the automaker’s tough trucks.
As
it was revealed, the Toyota Hilux pickup has been a fixture of several
extremist movements over the past few decades.
“The
Toyota Hilux is everywhere,” Andrew Exum, a former US Army Ranger who is
now the US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy, said. “It’s
the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It’s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare, and
actually, recently, also counterinsurgent warfare. It kicks the hell out of the
Humvee.” He said.
The
truck is so popular with militants that it has been closely associated with
them for decades. is apparently a durable truck that has proven useful for
terrorists who are fighting against lightly armed special forces.
“Anecdotally,
a scan of pictures from the last four decades of guerrilla and insurgent
warfare around the world — the first iteration of the Hilux appeared in the
late ’60s — reveals the Toyota’s wide-ranging influence,” a Newsweek
reporter, Somaiya, wrote.
“Somali
pirates bristling with guns hang out of them on the streets of
Mogadishu. A ragtag bunch of 20 or so Sudanese fighters raise their arms
aloft in the back of a Hilux in 2004. Pakistani militants drive through a
crowd, guns high, in 2000. It goes on. Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Liberia,
the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq — US Special Forces even
drive Toyota Tacomas (the chunkier, US version of the Hilux) on some of their
deployments.”
The
trucks “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,” it was reported. The Hilux is a Toyota truck
model sold overseas that’s similar to the Tacoma.[1]

 


[1] Pamela,
Engel, THESE TOYOTA TRUCKS ARE POPULAR WITH TERRORISTS — HERE’S WHY,
Oct. 7, 2015.
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