Fighters from the Islamic State (file)
Fighters from the Islamic State (file) Reuters

A German government minister has accused Qatar of funding the Islamic State terrorist group currently tearing through Iraq and Syria.

"A story like this always has a history," Development Aid Minister Gerd Mueller told public broadcaster ZDF. "Who is financing these troops? Hint: Qatar."

He did not elaborate on what evidence there was to support the claim, but Qatar is already under considerable scrutiny due to its support of Islamist terrorists in the Middle East. Most notably, the gulf state is the primary sponsor of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and has also provided funding to Islamist rebels in Syria, who are currently fighting both the Assad regime and the Islamic State.

There have been several high-profile calls to stop Qatar hosting the World Cup in 2022 until it ceased funding terrorism, including by Israeli Economics Minister Naftali Bennett.

Meanwhile, Germany's Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has urged a "debate" over who has been funding IS, though he did not suggest who those sources of funding were.

Germany will soon be deciding whether to join the US, Britain and other western states in providing aid to Kurdish forces fighting IS in Iraq.

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