An American man suspected of fighting alongside Islamic State militants who have seized large areas of Iraq and Syria to the alarm of the Baghdad government and its allies in the West has been killed in Syria, a US official said on Tuesday.
"We were aware of U.S. Citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain's presence in Syria and can confirm his death," US National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.
"We continue to use every tool we possess to disrupt and dissuade individuals from traveling abroad for violent jihad and to track and engage those who return," Hayden said.
A national security official who asked not to be named told Reuters that the FBI was investigating McCain's death, and a State Department spokeswoman said officials had been in contact with his family and were providing "all consular assistance."
Family members told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that McCain's mother had been called by a State Department official to report that he had been killed in Syria over the weekend.
The newspaper said the family had been concerned with McCain's expressions of support of Islamic State militants, and the man's uncle, Ken McCain, told CNN his nephew had converted to Islam from Christianity several years ago and traveled to the region via Turkey to fight as a jihadi.