SAN DIEGO - A State Department spokeswoman said that an American who grew up in Minnesota and attended college in San Diego has been killed overseas but declined to confirm a report that he died in Syria while fighting for ISIS.
Jen Psaki confirmed the death of Douglas McAuthur McCain.
“We are in contact with the family and are providing all possible consular assistance,” Psaki said. “Out of respect for the family we’re not going to be adding any more comment at this time.”
When a U.S. citizen is killed overseas, American consular officials often help the family locate and return the citizen’s body to the United States, if possible.
McCain’s death was first reported by the Free Syrian Army and NBC News.
NBC reported that McCain, 33, was one of three foreign fighters aligned with the Islamic State forces killed in a battle in Syria.
After growing up in Minnesota, McCain moved to San Diego and attended San Diego City College. College officials confirmed his attendance but declined to provide additional details.
On a Facebook page identified as belonging to McCain, he referred to himself as Duke ThaslavfeofAllah. The Facebook page has since been taken down.
On a Twitter account identified as belonging to McCain, he used the name Duale Khalid and wrote, “It’s Islam over everything.”
The person using the name Khalid said he converted to Islam a decade ago: “I will never look back the best thing that ever happen to me,” reads one Twitter message.
The Twitter messages display hostility toward gays, white people and Somali immigrants in San Diego. The messages praise Allah and smoking hookah.
One tweet reads: “It’s funny to me how all these so call Muslim claim that they love Allah but always curse the one who try to implement his laws.”
A retweet from a group called Islamic Freedom reads: “Allah never promised this life was easy, but He did promise that He would be with you every step of the way.”
The Twitter account includes a translation of a speech by Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani.
While in San Diego, McCain worked at an African restaurant but employees there declined to comment. McCainwas described as a basketball fan and a would-be rap singer who had apparently traveled in Europe.
American officials have expressed increasing concern that Americans and Europeans have joined ISIS and, with valid passports, could return to their homeland to stage jihadist attacks.