Three days before ISIS militants killed Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin, the U.S. military notified his family—and the families of roughly 200 Marines—that their loved ones had moved off the USS Kearsarge, deployed to the Persian Gulf, to somewhere in northern Iraq. The letter didn’t say exactly where he had been deployed two weeks earlier, or why. But while his family and the American public were largely being kept in the dark, members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State were acquiring detailed intelligence on the movements of Cardin, the second U.S. service member killed in Iraq, and his fellow Marines.
It was supposed to be a secret where these 200 Marines were headed. And yet the terrorists had them in their sights.