An American who’d flown to Turkey reportedly died while fighting for a terror organization in Syria, says the State Department.
Douglas McAuthur McCain, of San Diego, California died while fighting for the terror group ISIS. His family says that McCain was born a Christian but had converted to Islam.
McCain, 33, went from an aspiring rapper who was once an “all smiling” high school student to an ISIS fighter in Syria.
According to NBC, Douglas began calling himself Duale and spoke on Twitter of being a warrior:
On June 9, Duale wrote to an alleged ISIS fighter on Twitter: “I will be joining you guys soon.” He also asked if another self-proclaimed ISIS fighter had made it to “r town” – an apparent reference to Raqqa, the militants’ Syrian stronghold.
Then came another post: “I’m with the brothers now.” Later, he retweeted: “It takes a warrior to understand a warrior. Pray for ISIS.”
Administration officials told NBC News that they believe a number of Americans have gone to Syria to fight for ISIS.
“The threat we are most concerned about to the homeland is that of fighters like this returning to the U.S. and committing acts of terrorism,” said the official.
According to PBS, Westerners from both the U.S. and Europe are joining ISIS, and here’s why:
Some security experts call it the result of an increasing generational divide between Al Qaeda and ISIS, while others attribute the expanding lure to the group’s stunning battlefield success, a savvy online recruitment strategy and the promise of life inside an Islamic caliphate.
And just like al Qaeda, U.S. policies have benefited ISIS:
The reality of US policy is to support the government of Iraq, but not Syria, against ISIS. But one reason that group has been able to grow so strong in Iraq is that it can draw on its resources and fighters in Syria. Not everything that went wrong in Iraq was the fault of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as has now become the political and media consensus in the West. Iraqi politicians have been telling me for the last two years that foreign backing for the Sunni revolt in Syria would inevitably destabilize their country as well. This has now happened.
By continuing these contradictory policies in two countries, the US has ensured that ISIS can reinforce its fighters in Iraq from Syria and vice versa. So far, Washington has been successful in escaping blame for the rise of ISIS by putting all the blame on the Iraqi government. In fact, it has created a situation in which ISIS can survive and may well flourish.
McCain’s body was found carrying $800 in cash and an American passport.