American fighting for IS killed in Syria

2014-08-27 12:45
Douglas McAuthur McCain, a US citizen, is believed to have been killed in Syria. (File, AP)

Douglas McAuthur McCain, a US citizen, is believed to have been killed in Syria. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - An American fighting for the Islamic State was killed over the weekend in Syria, US officials said on Tuesday, underlining growing concerns about Westerners signing up for extremist groups in the Middle East.

The United States had been aware that Douglas McCain, aged 33, a one-time aspiring rapper and basketball fan from California, was in war-torn Syria, the White House said, confirming his death.

McCain, who converted from Christianity to Islam about a decade ago, was killed in fighting against the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-linked group blacklisted by the United States, US media reports said.

"We continue to use every tool we possess to disrupt and dissuade individuals from travelling abroad for violent jihad and to track and engage those who return", national security council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said.

McCain's affiliation to IS, which has overrun large swathes of Iraq and Syria in a brutal offensive and his death had left his family "devastated" and "just as surprised as the country", his uncle Ken McCain told CNN.

He was "a good person, loved his family, loved his mother, loved his faith", the uncle said, referring to his nephew's Christian beliefs before his conversion.

The US state department informed the family of his death on Monday.

"We are in contact with the family and are providing all possible consular assistance", state department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

Former classmates recalled McCain as a "goofball".

"Doug was a fun guy to be around. Played basketball, joked a lot. Got along with most. Wasn't the best athlete, but liked to play", a former friend told NBC News.

Friends said on Twitter that he converted to Islam in around 2004.

'Islam over everything'

NBC said McCain, from San Diego, was carrying about $800 in cash and his American passport when he was killed.

It cited an activist as saying McCain was among three foreign fighters in the IS camp who died during the battle, although details were sketchy.

On Facebook, he called himself "Duale ThaslaveofAllah", and his Twitter bio read "It's Islam over everything", according to NBC.

"The threat we are most concerned about to the homeland is that of fighters like this returning to the US and committing acts of terrorism", a senior Obama administration official told NBC.

US officials last week told AFP that more than 100 US nationals had left to fight in Syria or tried to do so, while hundreds of Britons have also reportedly made the journey, along with those from other European countries.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  is  |  syria  |  us  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.