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How Many of Islamic State’s Foreign Fighters Are American?

Posted on Aug 26, 2014

According to U.S. officials and his uncle, 33-year-old Douglas McAuthur McCain of San Diego died last week while fighting for ISIS in Syria.

According to Attorney General Eric Holder, a third of Islamic State’s fighting force is made up of foreigners not native to Iraq or Syria, but the U.S. is investigating fewer than 100 U.S. citizens who may be fighting in the region.

Still the impact of Westerners fighting on behalf of extremely violent Islamic fundamentalists is undeniable. When journalist James Foley was beheaded, the BBC World Service noted with some shock that the masked executioner spoke with what sounded like a London accent.

According to Reuters, McCain grew up in the Midwest and lived most recently in San Diego, where he went to college.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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