NEW HOPE, Minn. (AP) — A U.S. official says an American man believed to have been killed in Syria was there to fight alongside an extremist militant group, most likely the Islamic State.
Investigators were aware that Douglas McAuthur McCain was in the country to fight with militants. His body has yet to be recovered and there is an ongoing investigation about the circumstances of his death. It's not clear when he went to Syria.
A relative told The Associated Press that McCain's family was contacted about his death by the State Department.
A cousin told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that McCain spoke to her last week and had been saying that he "was in Turkey." She also said that McCain "had strong Muslim beliefs." But she told the newspaper she was unaware of any support of Islamic State.
McCain grew up in New Hope, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb. A former neighbor said, "Someone must have persuaded him." McCain had most recently lived in San Diego.
FBI Director James Comey (KOH'-mee) said in June that roughly 100 people had left the United States to join the conflict in Syria.