**BBC News - Islamic State: Where does jihadist group get its support? **
Many Gulf states have been accused of funding Islamic State (IS) extremists in Iraq and Syria.
But as Michael Stephens, director of the Royal United Services Institute in Qatar, explains, not all is clear-cut in war.
Much has been written about the support Islamic State (IS) has received from donors and sympathisers, particularly in the wealthy Gulf States.
Indeed the accusation I hear most from those fighting IS in Iraq and Syria is that Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are solely responsible for the group’s existence.
But the truth is a little more complex and needs some exploring.
It is true that some wealthy individuals from the Gulf have funded extremist groups in Syria, many taking bags of cash to Turkey and simply handing over millions of dollars at a time.
This was an extremely common practice in 2012 and 2013 but has since diminished and is at most only a tiny percentage of the total income that flows into Islamic State coffers in 2014.
It is also true that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, believing that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would soon fall and that Sunni political Islam was a true vehicle for their political goals, funded groups that had strongly Islamist credentials.
Liwa al-Tawhid, Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam were just such groups, all holding tenuous links to the “bad guy” of the time - the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s wing in Syria.
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