A 33-year-old American has reportedly been killed while fighting for Islamic State militants over the weekend in Syria, reports NBC News, citing photos of the man's passport and body—which has a distinctive tattoo—and confirmation via an activist with the Free Syrian Army. The man in question is Douglas McCain of San Diego (whose Facebook page refers to him as Duale ThaslaveofAllah); an aunt of McCain's confirmed his death, but wouldn't comment further. NBC traces McCain's life growing up playing basketball in Minnesota, where a friend described him as "a goofball," to a pair of arrests, travel to Turkey, and tweets within recent months that included "I'm with the brothers now" and "It takes a warrior to understand a warrior. Pray for ISIS."
The Syrian activist said McCain's passport was found on his body along with $800 in cash. The State Department has no public comment yet, but the man's uncle, Ken McCain tells CNN that US officials have informed the family of the death. Ken McCain says his nephew's decision to become a jihadi left family members "devastated." The report comes as the US begins flights over Syria intent on spying on Islamic State fighters and perhaps laying the groundwork for airstrikes. (Read more Islamic State stories.)