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US probes possible 2nd American jihadist killed in Syria

Published on Aug 28, 2014 5:02 AM
Mugshots of Douglas McAuthur McCain. The American fighting for the Islamic State was killed in Syria, underlining growing concerns about Westerners signing up for extremist groups in the Middle East. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States is investigating news reports that a second American was killed recently fighting for an Islamist extremist group in Syria.

"We have seen those reports. We're looking into it but we don't have any independent confirmation at this point in time," State Department spokesman Jen Psaki told reporters.

US officials on Tuesday confirmed that American Douglas McCain, 33, was killed in Syria fighting for the Islamic State, which aims to establish a Muslim caliphate in the Middle East. The American jihadist travelled to war-torn Syria to join the group, which has marauded across swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months and beheaded US journalist James Foley more than a week ago.

McCain was reportedly killed in fighting against the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda-linked group blacklisted by the United States. NBC News reported it was told by a source from the Free Syrian Army - western-backed rebels fighting the regime of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad - that the second American was killed in the same battle.

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