How The Hell Does ISIS Get All Those Tanks, Weapons And Shiny New Toyota Trucks?
U.S. Treasury Dept. wonders: Where did ISIS Get All Those Shiny, New Toyota Trucks?
Yikes! Those evil, marauding terrorists from ISIS are still at large, but fear not: ISIS can’t escape from the U.S. and our allies for long. And when we get ’em, we’re going to kick their cartoonist/woman/gay/Christian-hating Jihadi butts from here until Sunday.
There’s just one problem. If we’re at war with ISIS, why do we keep supplying them with tanks, weapons, Humvees and shiny new Toyota trucks? CNN reports:
“They’re hard to miss. Packed with ISIS fighters and heavy weapons, Toyota pickup trucks and SUV’s are featured prominently in ISIS propaganda videos.”
According to ABC, the U.S. Treasury Dept.’s Terror Financing unit has finally taken notice of the endless parades of shiny, new Toyota trucks starring in ISIS’s propaganda videos, and they’ve launched an investigation. Toyota’s U.S. spokesman Ed Lewis told reporters this is part of a larger inquiry into supply chains and capital flows in the Middle East. Lewis promised Toyota’s full cooperation, and assures us that they’d never sell to terrorists.
“Toyota has a strict policy to not sell vehicles to potential purchasers who may use or modify them for paramilitary or terrorist activities, and we have procedures and contractual commitments in place to help prevent our products from being diverted for unauthorized military use.”
Whew. What a relief.
Toyota trucks: The jihadists’ truck of choice.
CNN tracked down Jonathan Schanzer — who used to track terrorist finances for the U.S. Treasury Dept. and who’s now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies — to find out more. Schanzer explained that rugged outdoorsmen and off-roaders aren’t the only ones who love their Toyota trucks:
“Toyotas is the truck that Jihadists choose for when they want to go to war. It’s the same thing with Kalashnikovs [Russian automatic rifles more commonly known in the U.S. as AK-47s].”
And how to these ISIS terrorists get their hands on these bad boys? Schanzer suspects they just boldly walk into the car dealerships and pay cash!
“I think they’re buying them, probably, through formal channels. They’re probably going right into the dealerships and purchasing them, and not identifying as ISIS. Who would?”
Oh, and although Toyotas are the Jihadist’s truck of choice, they won’t object to a Ford or two. We’d love to see the look on this U.S. plumber’s face after seeing what Schanzer suspects ISIS picked up at an auction. As if to thumb their noses at us, they didn’t even bother to remove the former owner’s information from the front passenger side’s door.
Schanzer adds ISIS’s avid Toyota truck acquisition is just one example of how ISIS operates like “a combination of a mafia gang and a major corporation.” In other words, like a major corporation.
Here’s the video with CNN’s report.
ISIS also has tons of U.S. weapons, vehicles and other military gear.
Toyota trucks aren’t all ISIS has managed to buy, capture or scavenge from us. In June, CNBC reported that so far we’ve accidentally furnished the Islamic State with at least $219.7 million worth of weapons, vehicles and other military supplies and gear — and that’s just the stuff we know about.
Based on various reports, CNBC came up with the following laundry list of supplies the U.S. has so kindly provided to ISIS so far.
- 2,300 Humvee armored vehicles at $70,000 each: $16 million
- 40 M1A1 Abram tanks at $4.3 million each: $172 million
- 52 M198 Howitzer mobile gun systems at $527,337 each: $2.7 million
- 74,000 Army machine guns at $4,000 each: $29 million
TOTAL: $219.7 MILLION in military weapons, vehicles, and other supplies and gear for ISIS.
How does the Islamic State get hold of all these U.S. weapons? We deliver them, either directly or through the tattered remnants of Iraq’s military. Jeremy Salt, a political analyst in Ankara, Turkey, gives RT.Com quite the scathing earful:
“Do you think the Islamic State’s advance would have been so successful without access to this U.S. military hardware by mistake, by default? Let me just briefly revise the history of American blunder over the past couple of years with regard to weapons ending up in the hands of Islamic State.”
Salt then reminded us of our nation’s major blunders for supplying weapons to ISIS for the past couple of years.
- Accidental air-dropping of weapons and supplies intended for the Syrian Kurds into Islamic State territory.
- This didn’t just happen once, it happened several times.
- Weapons and supplies seized by ISIS during the falls of Mosul (Iraq), Ramadi (Iraq), AND Palmyra (Syria).
Salt doesn’t even bother explaining how the George W. Bush administration created ISIS by invading Iraq on false pretenses and chasing off all those heavily armed and well-trained Baathist soldiers. But he does ask how it’s even possible that U.S. intelligence and the military — both of which are among the most sophisticated in the world — could have possibly NOT seen what was coming.
What Salt says here about ISIS’s routing of Palmyra also applies to the sack of Mosul and Ramadi.
“Are we seriously to believe the United States couldn’t see them coming? Didn’t see those pickup trucks racing across the Syrian Desert? When they create massive plumes of dust, for one thing? Then they get to Palmyra, and they take over the city.”
Salt has a point. How could we have possibly missed miles of vehicles chock-full of masked ISIS militants waving guns and black flags while churning up choking clouds of desert dust visible from miles around? It’s almost as though we’ve ignored all this on purpose.
As for President Barack Obama, he’s made some smart moves. But how can he slam the brakes on a runaway crazy train that’s been lurching headlong for decades? After all, Reagan’s the one who armed and trained Al Qaeda back when they fought the former USSR as the Mujahideen resistance fighters. Also, we helped Saddam Hussein take power in Iraq in 1963, and Hussein was on the CIA’s payroll since at least 1959. And then we overthrew him and allowed the region to devolve into chaos because George W. Bush isn’t into “nation building.”
Here’s the video with the news report from RT on ISIS’s acquisition of U.S. military supplies, weapons, gear and vehicles.
Featured photo: Video screen grab/CNN.