Dina Temple-Raston

As part of NPR's national security team, Dina Temple-Raston reports about counterterrorism at home and abroad for NPR News. Her reporting can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines. She joined NPR in March 2007.

Recently, she was chosen for a Neiman Fellowship at Harvard. These fellowships are given to mid-career journalists. While pursuing the fellowship during the 2013-2014 academic year, Temple-Raston will be temporarily off the air.

Prior to NPR, Temple-Raston was a longtime foreign correspondent for Bloomberg News in Asia. She opened Bloomberg's Shanghai and Hong Kong offices and worked for Bloomberg's financial wire and radio operations. She also served as Bloomberg News' White House correspondent during the Clinton administration and covered financial markets and economics for both USA Today and CNNfn.

Temple-Raston is an award-winning author. Her first book concerning race in America, entitled A Death in Texas, won the Barnes' and Noble Discover Award and was chosen as one of the Washington Post's Best Books of 2002. Her second book, on the role Radio Mille Collines played in fomenting the Rwandan genocide, was a Foreign Affairs magazine bestseller. Her more recent two books relate to civil liberties and national security. The first, In Defense of Our America (HarperCollins) coauthored with Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, looks at civil liberties in post-9/11 America. The other explores America's first so-called "sleeper cell", the Lackawanna Six, and the issues that face Muslims in America, The Jihad Next Door.

Temple-Raston holds a Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and a Master's degree from the Columbia University's School of Journalism. She has an honorary doctorate from Manhattanville College. She was born in Belgium and French was her first language. She also speaks Arabic. She is a U.S. citizen.

Pages

Middle East
2:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Yemeni Officials Claim To Have Foiled Al-Qaida Terror Plot

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 3:48 pm

Days after the U.S. announced it would close its diplomatic missions across the Middle East and Africa, Yemeni security officials said that they had foiled a plot by al-Qaeda to attack fuel pipelines and two of the nation's ports. It is unclear if this plot is the same as the one that was alluded to in al-Qaeda communications U.S. intelligence officials intercepted earlier this month.

World
3:11 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Interpol Asks For Help Tracking Escaped Al-Qaida Inmates

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Just after the State Department announced it would close those diplomatic missions came another alert, this one from Interpol, the global police organization. Interpol is asking for help tracking hundreds of terrorism suspects who've escaped from prisons in Iraq, Pakistan and Libya over the past month. NPR's counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston has been following the story and she joins me now.

And Dina, what's the connection between these two security alerts, one from Interpol and the other from the State Department?

Read more
World
3:27 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Iraq Prison Break Worries Counterterrorism Officials

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 5:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And when we think about the future of Iraq, one big concern is al-Qaida's growing strength there. This week, al-Qaida's arm in Iraq launched coordinated attacks on two prisons near Baghdad. One was the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison. To break through the prison walls there, the group used a dozen suicide bombers, and they attacked guards with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Al-Qaida has staged spectacular prison breaks in the past. It's a tried-and-true method of reinforcing their ranks. Here's NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.

Read more
Law
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

How Secret Does A Secret Court Need To Be?

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Here's another question Congress took up today: Do secret courts always have to be secret? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decides whether wiretaps and other surveillance methods used by the intelligence community are legal. It's staffed by federal judges, but their work takes place in the shadows.

Read more
National Security
2:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

'Guardian' Releases More Documents On NSA Surveillance

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 4:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
National Security
3:03 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

NSA Leaker Snowden Defends Actions In Live Web Chat

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 3:45 pm

The man who leaked secret National Security Agency documents, Edward Snowden, defended his decision to reveal details of U.S. surveillance programs in a web chat on Monday. Snowden said he's still in Hong Kong and claims he wouldn't get a fair trial in the U.S. He also said he has not been in contact with the Chinese government and that there are more disclosures to come.

National Security
3:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

NSA Leaker Checks Out Of Hong Kong Hotel

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Investigators are trying to learn all they can about the American intelligence contractor who says he leaked sensitive documents to reporters. Edward Snowden is 29 years old, a former tech specialist for the company Booz Allen Hamilton, which does a lot of government intelligence work. Over the weekend, he took responsibility for disclosing details of two U.S. government surveillance programs.

Read more
National Security
4:32 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Civil Liberties Group Concerned Over NSA Programs

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The news that the National Security Agency is collecting reams of telephone data and tracking Internet behavior has alarmed civil liberties groups. President Obama believes U.S. citizens have no need to worry.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: One of the things that we're going to have to discuss and debate is how are we striking this balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy, because there are some tradeoffs involved.

Read more
National Security
2:08 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Digging The Depth Of The NSA Phone Data Program

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The National Security Agency is collecting the telephone records of millions of Americans, U.S. customers of Verizon. The Guardian newspaper broke the story last night and published a copy of an order by a special court that allowed the NSA to gather that information. After that surprise comes another today, that this information gathering appears to be a matter of routine.

Read more
Middle East
3:49 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

U.S. Drone Strike Said To Have Killed Taliban Leader

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Another big piece of President Obama's new national security vision is a rethinking of how the U.S. uses drones. Last night, for the first time since the president laid out new stricter conditions for their use, the U.S. launched a drone attack. It appears to have killed a top military commander in the Pakistani Taliban. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports.

Read more
National Security
3:34 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Obama Tweaks U.S. Vision For Fight Against Terrorism

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Read more
National Security
2:44 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Obama Speech Expected To Touch On Drones, Guantanamo

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

For months now, the Obama administration has promised to reveal more about America's secret drone program, and today could be the day. The president will speak this afternoon at the National Defense University, and he's planning to discuss America's fight against terrorism. He is expected to address everything from drones to the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston has this preview.

Read more
U.S.
3:28 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

White House Has Renewed Resolve To Close Guantanamo

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 7:51 am

For the first time in years, the Obama administration appears to be focused on shuttering the Guantanamo Bay prison and – at a minimum — has redoubled its efforts to reduce the number of people held there.

The key, officials familiar with the administration's thinking say, may lie with 56 Yemeni detainees, a group of men who have been at the island facility for more than a decade though U.S. officials cleared them for transfer years ago.

"If we can send the Yemenis home," one official said, "that could get the ball rolling."

Read more
Around the Nation
3:10 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Three Friends Of Boston Bombing Suspect Arrested

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Dina Temple-Raston talks to Audie Cornish about the three people who face charges in connection with the Boston marathon bombing.

Politics
2:43 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama Renews Call To Close Guantanamo Amid Hunger Strike

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the hunger strike underway in the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It began back in January. At first, a few dozen prisoners refused meals. Now, more than 100 of the 166 men still at the facility have joined the protest, and more than a dozen of those are being force-fed. Well today, their action drew a response from the president. As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, President Obama vowed at a news conference to try once again to close the island prison.

Read more
Explosions At Boston Marathon
4:25 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Investigators Trace Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Activities Abroad

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

The investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing continues. Investigators have spoken with the parents of the suspects in Russia. Audie Cornish talks to Dina Temple-Raston about the latest developments.

Explosions At Boston Marathon
4:11 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Investigators Name Two Suspects In Boston Bombing

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 8:26 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We begin this hour with a major break in the investigation into Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Read more
Law
1:24 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Osama Bin Laden's Son-In-Law Set To Appear In N.Y. Court

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (center), pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to kill Americans on March 8. He is set to appear in a federal court Monday.
Elizabeth Williams AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:32 am

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and former al-Qaida spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is expected to appear in a New York courtroom Monday afternoon.

Abu Ghaith was captured by U.S. officials in February, and his arrest is considered important not just because he was so close to bin Laden, but also because the Obama administration has decided to try him in a federal court instead of using a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Read more
Asia
1:15 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Pakistan's Ambitious Program To Re-Educate Militants

Pakistani men who worked for the Taliban attend a class at Mishal, an army-run rehabilitation center in Pakistan's Swat Valley, on July 5, 2011. This and similar centers are trying to re-educate men taken in by the Taliban, who ruled Swat before the military drove out the insurgents in 2009.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:50 am

A Pakistani army officer named Col. Zeshan is giving a tour of a jihadi rehabilitation center secreted in the hills of northwest Pakistan's Swat Valley.

"This place was also captured by the Taliban," he says, walking me around the heavily guarded complex. "The army took over this place from them ... when the war was going on."

Read more
National Security
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

After Decade Of Detention, Guantanamo Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. More than two dozen detainees at the prison at Guantanamo Bay are on a hunger strike. U.S. officials say the prisoners are refusing meals because after a decade in detention without trial, they feel they have been forgotten. But lawyers for the men tell a different story. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:11 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Bin Laden's Son-In-Law Arrested, Brought To U.S.

A man identified as Sulaiman Abu Ghaith appears in this still image taken from an undated video address. A son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who served as al Qaeda's spokesman, Abu Gaith was detained in Jordan and sent to the United States.
HANDOUT Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:22 am

Update at 4:30 p.m. EST. Details Of Capture

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and a former al-Qaida spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, is in U.S. custody and is being held in a Manhattan jail. He could appear in a federal court as soon as Friday, U.S. officials familiar with the case say.

His capture is considered important not just because he was so close to bin Laden but also because U.S. officials have decided to try him in a federal court, not Guantanamo Bay.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Sept. 11 Trial Judge Gives Defense Attorneys Access To 'Camp 7'

This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the front gate of "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Defense attorneys in the trial of the five men accused of orchestrating the terror attacks on September 11th will get to see for the first time where their clients are incarcerated.

The army judge presiding over the trial at Guantanamo Bay said today he will allow the lawyers to visit a secret section of the prison.

Read more
National Security
1:41 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Hints Of Progress After Investigation at Guantanamo Court

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:52 am

The most dramatic moment of the week's hearing at Guantanamo Bay's military commissions was when a one-legged man stood up and began to berate the judge.

The one-legged man, Walid bin Attash, is one of the defendants in the high-profile Sept. 11 case, and his complaint was a throwback to a time when the tribunal first opened.

He was upset because guards had taken the opportunity while he was in court to ransack his cell and take letters from his attorney. It had happened to three of the other Sept. 11 defendants as well.

Read more
National Security
11:05 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Alleged Sept. 11 Plotters In Court, But Lawyers Do The Talking

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, seen in a file photo, and four other defendants accused of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks appeared before a military commission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Monday. The session focused on procedural matters.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 12:01 pm

Pretrial hearings in the death penalty trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of planning the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks lasted a little more than an hour Monday before the judge recessed the session until Tuesday.

The men, who all came into the courtroom in camouflage vests and traditional garments known as shalwar kameez, have been in jail — awaiting this trial — for more than a decade.

Read more
National Security
1:31 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Procedure Expected To Bog Down Hearing For Alleged Sept. 11 Planners

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:44 am

Pretrial hearings resume Monday in the death penalty trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The men have been in jail, awaiting trial, for more than a decade. The hearings in their case started back in May, and they have hardly moved forward since then.

Read more
National Security
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Threat Emerges At Intersection Of Terrorism, Syndicated Crime

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This month's hostage taking at a natural gas plant in Algeria shows how international terrorism is evolving. Groups such as al-Qaida have long been motivated by radical ideology. What's happening now in North Africa is a little different. For groups there, there's also a financial motive.

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports on the dangerous intersection of terrorism and syndicated crime.

Read more
National Security
3:20 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Algerian Gas Plant Seizure May Mark New Stage In Al-Qaida Evolution

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:48 pm

The man who says he masterminded last week's attack on a BP-operated gas facility in Algeria claimed responsibility in a video.

"We are behind the blessed daring operation in Algeria," says Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a former member of al-Qaida's arm in North Africa. "Forty men from Muslim and Western countries took part in the operation," he continues. "We did it for al-Qaida."

Read more
Africa
3:45 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

French Troops, Air Power Could Attract More Foreign Fighters To Mali

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Read more
Africa
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

How Mali's Conflict Affects Americans

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now a look at who's fighting in Mali and why that far away conflict might affect the United States. Yesterday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta offered the most basic take on America's interests in Mali - al-Qaida is there.

SECRETARY LEON PANETTA DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: The fact is, we have made a commitment that al-Qaida is not going to find any place to hide.

MONTAGNE: And that includes Mali.

NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston joins us now to talk more about this. Welcome.

Read more
National Security
2:53 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Lawyers Say Teenage Terror Suspect Was Entrapped By FBI

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Jury selection began today in the terrorism trial of a young Somali-American. He's accused of trying to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon two years ago. But the case is drawing attention for another reason: There was no bomb. The defendant was the target of an FBI sting operation.

And as NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, his lawyers are expected to argue their client was entrapped.

Read more

Pages