posted on 11 Feb 2015 08:25 by optimalforesigh38
Mark-1 Plumbing in Texas City is getting a lot of frantic calls lately, for all the wrong reasons.
It's got nothing to do with plugged drains or leaks-and everything to do with Syrian terrorists, social media, and a cast-off Ford F-250 bearing the small business's name.
As Houston news station KHOU reports, Mark-1's Jeff Oberholtzer traded in an old F-250 in October, 2013. The truck went to auction, still wearing Mark-1's name and phone number on the door. Oberholtzer bought anew workvehicle and went on with his business.
Fast-forward to this week, when Oberholtzer's truck appeared on Twitter in a decidedly different role:
And cue the confused, frantic, and outraged phone calls.
The fast-cash natureof auto auctions makes it difficult to figure out exactly how the offcast Mark-1 truck went from Texas City, Texas, to, apparently, the front lines of Islamic-extremist rebel groupAnsar al-Deen's fightin the Syrian Civil War. But it's made for a world of headaches for Oberholtzer, who's had to reassure people over and over that, no, the family-owned Texas business does not support terrorists.
"We have a secretary here, she's scared to death," he tells KHOU. "We all have families. We don't want no problems."
There's actually a straightforward explanation for how the truck ended up, allegedly, in Syria. The export market for used U.S. vehicles is global. The cars and trucks we think of as old and busted hold immense value in other parts of the world, and auction transactions happen fast.
Oberholzer's truck likely changed hands several timesandended up in Syria before Mark-1 had fully broken in the vehicle that replaced it. From there, judging by the image on Twitter, it became part of Ansar al-Deen's fleet.
But the internet is full of hair-trigger conspiracy theorists ready to pounce, so Oberholtzer and the rest of the folks at Mark-1 have had to deal with death threats from mouth-breathers convinced that this plumbing shop is tied into the global terrorist network. The company tells CBS News it has employed an attorney in a bid to getthe truck image yankedfrom Twitter.
Remember: Get your business's identifying info off your vehicles before sending them to auction. Especially if those vehicles are capable of accommodating a homebrew anti-aircraft cannon mount.