WASHINGTON D.C. (NBC News) — We’ve got an update Wednesday morning on the hunt for terrorists who killed an American journalist in Iraq, and an American believed to be with that group has been killed. New overnight, we heard from a relative of that American who says he was not a terrorist. Douglas McArthur McCain is the first American killed fighting with the Jihadist group ISIS. His cousin insists McCain was not a terrorist.
“My cousin wouldn’t support a terrorist group like that or any group like that,” said Kenyata McCain. “He’s a very humble, caring man.”
McCain grew up in Chicago and Minnesota. He was arrested nine times and converted to Islam. He even tweeted about joining ISIS overseas.
Syrian rebels, backed by the U.S., killed him last weekend. Now, military surveillance planes are flying over Iraq, trying to identify which ISIS member beheaded American journalist James Foley.
“I’m afraid it’s just a preview of what they would do to other Americans,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania.
There was a vigil Tuesday night at Marquette University. Foley was an alum.
“Please, Jimmy, just promise me you’ll wait for us in heaven,” said Tom Durkin, Foley’s friend.
President Obama told the American Legion Tuesdaythat Foley’s death won’t be forgotten.
“To anyone who harms our people, it’s simple,” said Obama. “America does not forget. Our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done.”
Experts think the U.S. may soon expand its surveillance over Syria.
“They see real and imminent threats, and to stand back and not strike will really be too dangerous a risk to take,” said Michael Leiter, NBC News terrorism analyst.
But Democrats and Republicans say the president may need to get permission from Congress first.
“Congress should weigh in. Congress should be a part of this,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee.
And there are reports Wednesday morning that ISIS has holding an American aid worker hostage in Syria since last year. The government is not identifying her because they fear for her safety.