The US state department is investigating reports that a second American jihadist fighting with the Islamic State militants was killed last weekend in Syria. This comes a day after the first known American citizen, who left the US earlier this year to join the hardliner Sunni militant organisation, was reportedly shot dead during a battle with rival Syrian fighters late last week in Aleppo.
NBC News, which first reported that Douglas McAuthur McCain had died fighting for the Islamic militants, has cited a Free Syrian Army source as saying the second American was also killed in the same battle.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, however, told the Associated Press that the US has no independent confirmation of the reports of the second American being killed while fighting for the jihadists. She added that American officials were looking into the reports.
Washington has only confirmed the death of McCain, who reportedly grew up outside Minneapolis in the town of New Hope and most recently lived in San Diego.
Newspapers have reported citing his cousin, Michael Roland, that the 33-year-old travelled overseas this year before entering Syria. The Mid-western native perished in a fire fight last weekend just days after his fellow terrorist released the video of the beheading of US journalist James Foley.
"It was his destiny," New York Daily News quoted a close relative as saying after news emerged on Tuesday that McCain, was carrying a US passport and $800 cash when he was killed in Aleppo.
In Facebook, the man called himself 'Daule ThaslaveofAllah" and has also posted his religious views in Twitter saying, "Its Islam over everything," the Daily News notes.
The incident came as a stark reminder of concerns expressed by the Pentagon last week that Western fighters who have joined the extremist groups posed the greatest risk that once posed by al-Qaeda. Fears are growing that they could return to their homeland with a plan for a terrorist attack that could bypass the US intelligence.