Updated: 08/26/2014 10:43 PM
Created: 08/26/2014 10:42 PM WDIO.com
By: Megan Stewart, KSTP-TV
A Minnesota high school graduate was killed in Syria over the weekend, according to family members.
Douglas McAuthur McCain, a 33-year-old rapper, was among several ISIS militants the Free Syrian Army claimed on Twitter had been killed over the weekend in fighting for the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo. Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said the administration was "aware" McCain was in Syria and "can confirm" his death.
At some point, McCain moved to California and studied at San Diego City College, according to his Facebook page.
McCain reverted to the Islam religion around 2004 and he made a trip to the Middle East, including Turkey, and changed name on Facebook and Twitter to Duale ThaslaveofAllah.
McCain apparently posted his dedication to the extremist group on social media, tweeting: “It takes a warrior to understand a warrior. Pray for ISIS.” His cousin says McCain changed noticeably around those who knew him, but McCain never mentioned being involved in a terrorist organization.
"I thought, like, he may have lost his identity because all of this is not him," McCain's cousin said.
"And he didn't say anything like, 'I'm a terrorist,' no."
The Islamic State militant group is seeking to create a caliphate across parts of Syria and Iraq. The militant group is so ruthless in its attacks against all people they consider heretics or infidels that it has been disowned by al-Qaida's leaders.
Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman, said U.S. officials are in contact with the family in providing consular assistance. "As you know there is typically a process that has to be gone through before any confirmation can be made and certainly, out of respect for the family, we won't be adding any more comment at this time," she said.
McCain’s sister took to Facebook to express her grief, posting: I really don't understand why and how and I have no words, I never thought this will be the way we say goodbye. You where my oldest brother, my biggest headache, the one I argue with the most, my words when I needed you to be. I can hear you now saying "lele guess what, I'm awesome" and that big brother you are This is absolutely unreal to me I love you big brother.
Sen. Al Franken said Tuesday he found the reports of McCain’s death and involvement with ISIS “troubling” and reached out to the FBI for more information.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar's office says they are in contact with the State Department.
(Copyright 2014 KSTP-TV, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
"Walk a Mile in Our Shoes" Raises Money for Steps Center
We all know that getting enough exercise is an important factor in staying healthy, but on Saturday, the annual "Walk a Mile In Our Shoes" event also raised thousands of dollars for the Steps Center.
Winds Keep Hot Air Balloons Down... Again.
Kites and hot air balloons were in Bayfront Festival Park on Saturday, but unfortunately, that wind grounded the balloons for a second year in a row. They're hoping to try for another balloon launch on Sunday.
30th Annual Chester Bowl Fall Fest
It's officially the last weekend of summer, and as usual, Chester Bowl is kicking off the fall season with its annual fall festival. For 30 years, families have been gathering at Chester Bowl Park for the occasion. More than one hundred vendors set up for the annual festival, and the stage featured live music all day.
A Special Feat for a Very Special Athlete: Superior Man Earns Black Belt
Brandon Moe has been training in Karate Taekwondo since he was a little boy. Saturday, he went for his first degree black belt, a proud moment for his mother who said complications at his birth didn't guarantee he'd be here today.
1,000-foot Laker Freed After Being Stuck near Bayfront Park
A laker ran aground near Bayfront Park in Duluth. Right before 4 p.m., the 1,000-foot laker got stuck right near shore. The laker was finally freed, with the help of two tug boats, at around 7 p.m.