'US Isis fighter' Douglas McAuthur McCain dies 'fighting alongside Islamic State militants' in Syria - Americas - World - The Independent

'US Isis fighter' Douglas McAuthur McCain dies 'fighting alongside Islamic State militants' in Syria

McCain was reportedly found dead by Free Syrian Army fighters

A 33-year-old US citizen who is believed to have travelled to Syria to fight alongside Islamic State (Isis) militants has died in battle over the weekend.

A relative of Douglas McAuthur McCain, who grew-up in Minnesota, said the State Department had confirmed his death to his family on Monday.

The US National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement: "We were aware of US Citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain's presence in Syria and can confirm his death.

"We continue to use every tool we possess to disrupt and dissuade individuals from traveling abroad for violent jihad and to track and engage those who return.”

Members of the Free Syrian Army said McCain was killed during fighting at the weekend, NBC News reports. The broadcaster claims it has seen photographs of McCain’s passport and of body.

Officials do not yet have his body and are still trying to verify information surrounding his death, an official told AP.

It is unclear when McCain, who had most recently lived in San Diego, California, travelled to Syria. His uncle Ken McCain said his nephew converted from Christianity to Islam “several years ago”.

He told CNN: "We are devastated and we are just as surprised as the country is."

A cousin, Kenyata McCain, told the Star Tribune that she had spoken to McCain as recently as Friday and "he was telling all of us he was in Turkey."

"I didn't know that he was in support of Isis”, she told the newspaper. "I didn't think he would be."

FBI Director James Comey said in June that up to 100 people had left the United States to join the conflict in Syria.

Mr Comey said the terrorism threat of today "has spread, metastasized. ... The traveller problem makes it even more difficult, because the people going to Syria are not from any particular demographic. They're not from any particular part of the United States."

Video: Islamic State 'converts' Yazidis to Islam

The US began surveillance flights over Syria on Tuesday to monitor Isis militants advancing across the country. The flights, comprising both manned aircraft and drones, were green-lighted by President Obama over the weekend, officials told AP.

Read more: Obama 'approves US surveillance flights over Syria'
Third American aid worker kidnapped by the militants is identified

The move comes amid news that a female humanitarian worker has become the third identified American who has been kidnapped and held hostage by Isis. The woman is understood to have been working in Syria when she was taken captive last year.

Just over a week ago Isis released video footage showing the beheading of American photo journalist James Foley, alongside another missing American journalist Steven Sotloff. The group warned Mr Sotloff would be killed next if the US continued air strikes in Iraq.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week