Updated: 08/26/2014 11:20 PM
Created: 08/26/2014 4:52 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart
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.
McCain graduated from Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope in 1999.
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.