Sunday, August 24, 2014

German minister accuses Qatar of funding Islamic State fighters

    Sunday, August 24, 2014   No comments

German Development Minister Gerd Mueller accused Qatar on Wednesday of financing Islamic State militants who have seized wide areas of northern Iraq and have posted a video of a captive American journalist being beheaded.

"This kind of conflict, this kind of a crisis always has a history ... The ISIS troops, the weapons - these are lost sons, with some of them from Iraq," Mueller told German public broadcaster ZDF.

"You have to ask who is arming, who is financing ISIS troops. The keyword there is Qatar - and how do we deal with these people and states politically?" said Mueller, a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the center-right Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

Mueller did not elaborate and presented no evidence of a Qatari link to Islamic State. A German government spokesman said he was checking whether Mueller's remarks reflected the official view of Berlin.

Officials at the Foreign Ministry of Qatar, a wealthy Gulf Arab state, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his accusation.

Qatar has denied that it supports Islamist insurgents in Syria and Iraq. Diplomats and opposition sources say that while Qatar supports relatively moderate rebels also backed by Saudi Arabia and the West, it also has backed more hardline factions seeking to set up a strict Islamic state.



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