San Diego Man Killed Fighting for ISIS in Syria
SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego man who had been fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terror organization in Syria was found dead this weekend by the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, is believed to have been killed in a clash between the two Syrian opposition groups. The victors, NBC News reports, went through the pockets of the dead and found one man with $800 and McCain’s American passport.
U.S. officials reportedly knew of McCain’s death in Syria, according to NBC:.“Senior administration officials told NBC News they were aware that McCain was killed in Syria and that his family was informed on Monday. The officials added that they believe dozens of Americans have gone to Syria to fight with extremist groups--including, but not limited to, ISIS.”
NBC has also reportedly seen photos of the passport and McCain’s body, featuring a specific neck tattoo. A Free Syrian Army activist was also noted in the report as having seen the man and the documents, and alleged, “McCain was among three foreign jihadis fighting with ISIS who died during the battle.”
News reports indicate that McCain attended San Diego City College, which hosts a Muslim Student Association, according to the college’s website. The club’s purpose is stated as: “To serve the best interest of Islam and the Muslims, they shall promote unity and joint action among Muslims; conduct social, cultural, religious and other activities in the best traditions of Islam; arrange and hold congregational prayers.”
Since the news broke, as of this writing, 12 people have liked and 66 people have checked in on Facebook to Masjid Nur of San Diego, believed to be a Mosque associated with McCain. Local KPBS has made the connection between McCain and the Islamic center.
CNN reported on comments from the man’s uncle, Ken McCain: “The family wasn't alarmed by his conversion, but his Facebook posts sympathetic to ISIS got their attention. When they last heard from him several months ago, McCain said he was traveling to Turkey.”
That report further refers to estimates of many more Americans fighting with Syrian militants, “Attorney General Eric Holder estimated this summer that there are 7,000 foreign fighters in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern nation.” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf also told CNN that "[d]ozens of Americans, perhaps up to 100," have made an effort to join militant groups in Syria.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana