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

News
4:19 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:54 pm

The U.S. says that evidence suggests the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was fired from separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports what is now known about the crash.

Parallels
5:14 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:24 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.

Read more
Iraq
4:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Iraq
12:43 pm
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

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.

Read more
Iraq
4:07 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Insurgents Draw Westerners To Battle In Iraq And Syria

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Over years of conflict in Syria, it's estimated that thousands of Westerners have turned up to join the fight. And now some are crossing into Iraq, as well. Last week, an English-language recruitment video from the Sunni extremist group ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, went viral. In it gun-toting militants called on Muslims in the West joined them.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Read more
Parallels
3:15 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 2:32 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.

Read more
Parallels
4:15 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 9:30 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.

Read more
Parallels
3:27 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 9:28 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.

Read more
National Security
5:13 am
Fri June 20, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:29 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
4:07 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:09 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
4:32 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Using Social Media, Jihadi Groups Stay On Message

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:58 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.

Read more
U.S.
4:08 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Former Taliban Ministers Leave Guantanamo, Trailed By Questions

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 8:03 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.

Read more
National Security
3:09 am
Fri April 25, 2014

The Jewish Kid From New Jersey Who Became A Radical Islamist

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 9:33 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.

Read more
Middle East
4:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Yemeni Officials Claim To Have Foiled Al-Qaida Terror Plot

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:48 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
4:47 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Interpol Asks For Help Tracking Escaped Al-Qaida Inmates

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:24 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
5:27 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Iraq Prison Break Worries Counterterrorism Officials

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 7:58 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
4:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

How Secret Does A Secret Court Need To Be?

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
National Security
4:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

'Guardian' Releases More Documents On NSA Surveillance

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:52 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
5:33 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

After Obama's Speech, Guantanamo Shows Few Signs Of Closing

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

President Obama has promised again to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. But since he delivered a major speech two weeks ago, there's been little follow-up and few signs that any detainees are closer to being released.

National Security
5:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

NSA Leaker Checks Out Of Hong Kong Hotel

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 8:11 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

Pages