Report: 2 Alleged Terrorists were Classmates at Robbinsdale Cooper High School

Updated: 08/28/2014 12:47 PM
Created: 08/28/2014 6:42 AM
By: Jennie Olson

New details are emerging about the background of a former Minnesotan who U.S. officials say was killed fighting for ISIS over the weekend.

Thirty-three-year-old Douglas McAuthur McCain was identified by the White House on Tuesday as having been killed in the conflict in Syria. The Free Syrian Army, an opposition group that fights the government of President Bashar al-Assad as well as competing rebel groups, claimed on social media McCain had been fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Now, ABC News reports that McCain's high school in Minnesota, Robbinsdale Cooper High School, was the high school of at least two Midwestern boys who allegedly went on to become terrorists.

According to ABC News, a family photo shows McCain on the left and his high school classmate Troy Kastigar on the right, who later died fighting for the al Qaeda group in Somalia.

Kastigar’s image appeared in news reports around the world in 2009 after he was killed fighting with a jihadist group in Somalia, an al Qaeda affiliate called al-Shabab.
Smiling and laughing in an al-Shabab propaganda video, Kastigar called his battle experiences "the real Disneyland" and urged other Muslims to come and "take pleasure in this fun."  He was killed in 2009 in Mogadishu, according to the video.
The principal at Cooper during the time when McCain and Kastigar attended said he never would have guessed that they would be drawn to terrorism. He says the influences probably came from outside of the Cooper community.

“There was for sure no indication while they were students of ours that they would turn to violence,” former principal David Brom told ABC News.

A video from ABC News also shows a third gunman wearing a sweatshirt that says “Cooper Hawks” with the distinct lettering of the Cooper mascot. However, there has been no confirmation that the person seen wearing the sweatshirt was a student or has any connection to Minnesota. A school spokesperson said items such as school sweatshirts are often donated and sent all over the world.

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