Toyota, Hyundai and Kia vehicles as ISIS's weapon of choice

Updated Oct 07, 2020 | Same topic: Highlights of the Week

Based on various videos from ISIS in the recent years, vehicles from these three brands have been detected with higher prevalence.
In October 2015, social media platforms had been flooded with the images of IS fighters armed with large calibre weapons carried on shiny white Toyota vehicles branded with the black caliphate seal heading into war areas in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
IS fighters carried on Toyota pickup trucks

Why did the Toyota pickup become terrorists’ favorite truck?

The hotly-debated question at that time was how these vehicles ended up in IS’s hands. And it has still remained unanswered until now. But Philkotse team has another concern: Why did the Toyota pickup become terrorists’ favorite truck?

During the last four decades, statistics show that around 15,000 white Toyota SUVs have been supplied to humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross and the United Nations. These organizations choose white Toyota as their vehicle preference because that makes their brands outstanding in developing nations. And it is the visibility of these Toyotas that makes themselves become the target for IS terrorists who might steal them, purchase them from unlicensed sellers, or find them via other channels.

>>> Click here to read expert reviews on various Toyota models
Some IS fighters using a weapon on a Toyota pickup truck

Not only being the preference of IS, the vehicles have also been used in unorthodox ways by other rebel political groups

Not only being the preference of IS, the vehicles have also been used in unorthodox ways by other rebel political groups such as the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Syrian Rebels, Fighters in the Chad-Libya Conflict.

Recently, Kia and Hyundai SUVs from 2010-2015 models have also been reported to be used as vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices in suicide terrorist attacks. In order to blend with civilian traffic, the ISIS forces have even added some modifications to their SUVs.

>>> Click here to read expert reviews on SUV/MPV of various brands
a black Kia SUV with the front modified by ISIS

In order to blend with civilian traffic, the ISIS forces have even added some modifications to their SUVs

With all-wheel drive option, SUVs, unlike sedans and coupes, are the most capable over rough terrain and provide a more robust suspension system. This function allows it to suffer greater pressure without being sagged if carried with extra burden, such as hundreds of pounds of explosives.
a silver Kia SUV with the front and rear wheels modified by IS terrorists

SUVs are the most capable over rough terrain and provide a more robust suspension system
As a result, car dealerships would become an attractive source for ISIS' transportation needs.


Where is ISIS getting their Toyotas from? | CNN's Brian Todd reports
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<p>Toyota leads the local automobile industry, distributed by Toyota Motor Philippines. It has a staggering total of 73 dealerships all over the country. It has 27 dealerships in Luzon, 15 in the Visayas, 11 in Mindanao, and 20 in Metro Manila, including Lexus Manila, Inc. for its service centers and sales distribution. TMP has the most extensive car lineup in the country, with its current range consisting of 20 vehicles in total. See the latest price list of Toyota vehicles in the Philippines here.</p>