An American by the name of Douglas McAuthur McCain has died over the weekend fighting for ISIS in Syria, according to the Free Syrian Army, NBC News reports. The 33-year-old, who called himself "Duale ThaslaveofAllah," is the first of 100 Americans believed to be fighting for the Sunni jihadist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
McCain, born in Illinois and raised in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, was described by one former high school classmate as a person who was easy going, "joked a lot" and liked basketball. Another said they remembered McCain as "the light in anyone's darkness. He always made you smile with his goofy self," according to NBC.
McCain was arrested multiple times in the Twin Cities in his years following high school on charges for disorderly conduct in 2000 and obstruction in 2006. He lived in San Diego and converted to Islam in 2004, according his Twitter page. In previous months, he began interacting with jihadis online.
“I will be joining you guys soon,” he wrote on June 9 and later wrote, "I'm with the brothers now," before he died.
In previous months, ISIS forces have been growing in numbers, during civil unrest in Syria. The latest estimates of 100,000 recruits currently fighting for the group. Their goal is to establish a caliphate — an Islamic state that would be controlled by one supreme religious leader — across the two countries.
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_
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(Photo: AP Photo/Hennepin County, Minn. Sheriff's Office)