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The Syrian conflict has attracted people from all different age groups and parts of the United States, including, apparently, McCain.
A cousin who asked that his name be withheld said: “I don’t know what he went over there for, I don’t want people to get the idea that he was some kind of monster.”
He said McCain had been working in the San Diego area as a caregiver to clients with special needs and raising a daughter, who is nearing her first birthday. He described his cousin as “a Muslim, but he’s not a radical. People get the words mixed up.”
Facebook was also how this cousin last communicated with Douglas McCain, whose last Minnesota address was an apartment in New Hope. “His last couple of posts, you know,” showed sympathy for ISIL. “Where are you?” the cousin asked McCain. “I just had a funny feeling.”
McCain also had lived in a house on Golden Valley Road that was home to Troy Kastigar, another Minnesota convert to Islam who died while fighting for the Al-Shabab terror group in Somalia in 2009. Kastigar attended Cooper High at the same time as McCain.
Kastigar’s mother, Julie, who owned the house, couldn’t be reached Tuesday night.
A sister of Douglas McCain’s, Delecia, eulogized her brother on Facebook, writing, “I really don’t understand why and how and I have no words, I never thought this will be the way we say goodbye. … This is absolutely unreal to me. I love you big brother.”
McCain had a few scrapes with the law while in Minnesota, according to court records. He has convictions for a minor drug possession crime, theft, disorderly conduct and driving after his license was revoked.
Star Tribune staff writer Paul Walsh and the New York Times produced this report.