Texas Truck of Terror

How an American plumber's truck wound up in the hands of Syrian rebels.


Mark Oberholtzer wasn't following the Syrian militant group Jabhat Ansar al-Din on Twitter. So when they tweeted a picture of a Ford pickup in December with an anti-aircraft gun blazing from the truck bed, he probably missed it.

Until someone mentioned to him that it was his truck. Or rather, it was a truck previously owned by his plumbing company. The jihadists hadn't bothered to remove the decal from the door for Mark-1 Plumbing, complete with his phone number, before sending out the action shot on social media.

Oberholtzer says he traded the truck in at a Texas dealership in 2013. From there, it went to an auction house and was bought and sold until it ended up with its Twitter-happy new owners near Aleppo.

Since then, the small plumbing firm's phone has been ringing off the hook. "A few of the people are really ugly," Oberholtzer told the Galveston Daily News. He and his employees even got a visit from Homeland Security.

"We had no intentions or no idea this would even happen," Oberholtzer told Texas TV station KHOU. "Something that we would use to pull trailers and things like that, I mean, to now a truck to be used in terror, I mean that's crazy."