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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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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

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?

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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

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.

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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

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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