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.

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Middle East
4:15 am
Wed September 24, 2014

U.S. Airstrikes Also Targeted Al-Qaida Offshoot

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 11:31 am

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Middle East
2:32 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Khorasan Group Composed Of Al-Qaida Veterans

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 3:20 pm

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Al-Qaida's Khorasan Group Led By Hard-Core Fighters

Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., Joint Staff Director of Operations, speaks about airstrikes in Syria during a briefing at the Pentagon yesterday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 5:28 am

While the al-Qaida offshoot known as the Khorasan Group only burst into the public consciousness in the past week, the group has been on the radar of counterterrorism officials for a while, and intelligence officials say they have tracked the individual members of the group for years.

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Parallels
1:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

For Islamic State, Hitting The U.S. May Not Be A Top Priority

This image, posted on a militant website, shows an Islamic State fighter waving a flag from a captured government fighter jet in Raqqa, Syria. The group is well-funded and has gained territory over the past few months; that's raised some concerns in America, although experts say the organization is largely focused on regional goals.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:04 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently talked about the militants associated with the Islamic State, the group also known as ISIL or ISIS. He made them sound 10 feet tall.

"ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen," he said. "They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology [and] a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess; they are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we've seen."

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Parallels
1:42 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Brooklyn Man Fights In Syria. Is He A Threat To The U.S.?

This image obtained by NPR shows Ahmed al-Moflihi, a Yemeni-American who is believed to have fought in the Syrian civil war.
NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 8:59 am

Mocha Hookah is a little Middle Eastern restaurant and cafe on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn where you can pick up a shawarma gyro sandwich and a falafel platter and still get change back from your $20 bill. Walk inside and there's Arabic music, soccer games on flat screen televisions, and a hookah, or water pipe, set up at every table.

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Parallels
1:39 am
Wed August 27, 2014

U.S. Officials Try To Gauge Threat From American Fighters In Syria

American Eric Harroun threatened Bashar Assad on Facebook and YouTube. He spent six weeks fighting with a rebel army, a journey that did not end well for him.
ABC News YouTube

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:38 am

The heyday of "war tourism" was probably the 1930s, when a host of intellectuals and artists left the U.S. to bear witness to the Spanish Civil War. Ernest Hemingway wrote about it. George Orwell, just to name another, actually fought in it.

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National Security
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Failed Foley Rescue Reveals Challenges Faced By U.S. Intelligence

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 4:24 pm

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National Security
3:22 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Islamic State Uses Online Strategies To Get Its Message Out

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:07 am

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Middle East
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Militants Behead American Journalist, Leveling New Threats At U.S.

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

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Today, American foreign policy intersected with personal tragedy. The parents of James Foley spoke about their son. He's the American journalist killed by the extremist group known as the Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
4:05 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Big Data Firm Says It Can Link Snowden Data To Changed Terrorist Behavior

This photo provided by The Guardian in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, in Hong Kong last year.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 3:28 am

Editor's note on Aug. 17 at 11:25 a.m. ET: A clarification and links to the ombudsman's critique of this post have been added.

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News
2:19 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Obama: U.S. Confident That Missile Came From Rebel-Held Region

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:54 pm

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Parallels
3:14 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Against 'Islamic State' Militants, Treasury May Need To Try New Tools

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:24 pm

In the fight against terrorist organizations, one weapon has been effective in the past: cutting off their funding.

Terrorist groups tend to get their money from outside donors or charities. But the Islamic State, the group that now controls huge areas of Syria and Iraq, doesn't get its money that way. So the methods the U.S. Treasury has used to fight terrorist groups in the past won't work as well.

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Iraq
2:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

For Militants, Founding Of Caliphate Is Win In Rhetoric, Not Reality

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 4:26 pm

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Iraq
3:28 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Militant Group In Iraq Proves It's Learned From Al Qaida's Mistakes

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:14 am

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Iraq
10:43 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Western Fighters Answer Mideast Extremists' Clarion Call

This image posted on a militant website shows ISIS fighters marching in Raqqa, Syria, where the extremist group trains recruits, including Westerners.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 4:06 pm

This week a young man in Texas became the first American to plead guilty to terrorism charges related to the recent fighting in Iraq.

Michael Wolfe, 23, was arrested just before he boarded a plane. He was on his way to join ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Sunni extremist group that has been storming its way across Iraq for the past two weeks.

ISIS and hundreds of other rebel groups in Syria have inspired thousands of young men around the world to leave their homes and join the fight.

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Iraq
2:30 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Insurgents Draw Westerners To Battle In Iraq And Syria

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 2:26 pm

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Parallels
1:15 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Behind ISIS Battle In Iraq, A Clash Between Two Arch-Terrorists

Fighting between Iraqi government forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria leaves buildings destroyed in Ramadi on Tuesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 12:32 pm

While eyes have been focused on Sunni extremists and their lightning campaign across Iraq, there is a much more fundamental war raging behind the scenes.

It is a clash between two arch-terrorists: the head of al-Qaida's central operation, Ayman al-Zawahri, and the man leading the Sunni extremist charge in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The outcome of the battle between the two men could fundamentally change the face of terrorism.

The dust-up between Zawahri and Baghdadi broke out in the open earlier this year, and it centered on territory.

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Parallels
2:15 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

ISIS Brings Business Acumen To Violent Jihad

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria runs a sophisticated social media strategy, which includes images like this one it posted from Mosul, Iraq, on June 12 after it took control of the city. Analysts say ISIS has succeeded in bringing professional acumen to the business of violent jihad.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 7:30 pm

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is proving to be both militant and disciplined, borrowing organizational tools from the corporate world to professionalize its operations.

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Parallels
1:27 am
Wed June 25, 2014

How Much Does A Terrorist Attack Cost? A Lot Less Than You'd Think

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria march in Raqaa, Syria, in a picture posted on Jan. 14. The group is believed to hold as much as $2 billion.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:28 am

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is flush with cash, and holds as much as $2 billion. Counterterrorism officials say the group knows how to use that money to its advantage. It's showing a kind of professional acumen and discipline that sets it apart from other terrorist organizations. But what kinds of attacks can its money buy?

Back in 2006, when Germany was hosting the World Cup soccer tournament, a terrorist attack was narrowly averted. With bombs hidden in their suitcases, two men in their 20s boarded commuter trains in the city of Cologne.

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National Security
3:13 am
Fri June 20, 2014

U.S. Moves To Lock Up ISIS's Abundant War Chest

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

President Obama plans to slow the momentum of an extremist group that has seized much of northern Iraq. The group has funds that will permit it to sponsor attacks that could be aimed at the West.

Iraq
2:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Behind ISIS, A Masked Man Known More By Brutality Than By Name

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 4:09 am

The man who is leading the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in its offensive across Iraq is a mysterious figure. His nom de guerre is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but no one seems to agree on his real name or even what he looks like today. But he and ISIS have become a force that has taken key Iraqi cities and threatens to unleash a sectarian civil war.

Technology
2:16 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Using Social Media, Jihadi Groups Stay On Message

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. >>CORNISH: It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The Taliban scored a propaganda coup when it's video of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release went viral. The video was so popular that within hours the Taliban website crashed. Jihadi groups from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria, have developed sophisticated media campaigns to get their messages out and attract new followers. And as NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, social media is playing a bigger and bigger role.

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U.S.
2:08 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Former Taliban Ministers Leave Guantanamo, Trailed By Questions

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 6:03 pm

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And I'm Audie Cornish. This week's prisoner swap that exchanged five Taliban officials for one American soldier has raised a host of questions. One of them is this - will those men return to the battlefield? NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports that the five men released weren't common fighters and the security arrangements under which they were placed could provide a template for how to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

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National Security
1:09 am
Fri April 25, 2014

The Jewish Kid From New Jersey Who Became A Radical Islamist

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:33 am

Yousef al-Khattab helped change the way young Muslims were radicalized by spewing extreme Islamist propaganda on a YouTube channel.

Now al-Khattab, who was born Joseph Leonard Cohen and was brought up in New Jersey and in Brooklyn in a Jewish home, tells NPR he made a big mistake and describes himself as a "failure." He's scheduled to appear in a federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Friday to be sentenced on terrorism charges.

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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

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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?

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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