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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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

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
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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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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

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 Fri June 27, 2014 4:33 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)

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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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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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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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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
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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U.S.
8:31 am
Tue May 21, 2013

White House Again Raises Possibility Of Closing 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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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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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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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.

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Asia
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

After Fighting To Go To School, A Pakistani Woman Builds Her Own

Bachal recently starred in a documentary series which featured her efforts to educate children in her Karachi neighborhood of Moach Goth.
Courtesy of Humaira Bachal

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 8:32 am

Humaira Bachal, 25, has become a crusader of sorts. She has a passion for education in a country where going door-to-door asking fathers to send their daughters to school can mean risking your life.

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NPR Story
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Pakistani Cafe Is Oasis In Desert Of Civil Discourse

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Pakistan, there's a cafe called the Second Floor. It's listed in a local Karachi social blog as one of the coolest cafes in town. Since it opened its doors five years ago, it's become a haven in a city more known for its violence than its civil discourse. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston paid a visit.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: The artwork on the front stoop of the Second Floor Cafe in Karachi says it all.

SABEEN MAHMUD: I wanted something right at the entrance...

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Middle East
5:02 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Pakistani Military Hopes Rehab Will Lead Men To Paralympics

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Asia
9:01 am
Wed January 2, 2013

The Tony Soprano Of Karachi: Gangster Or Politician?

Baloch has been the most powerful figure in Karachi's Lyari neighborhood since 2009. His armed men control the area, and police stay away. He's shown here at his home.
Dina Temple-Raston

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:56 pm

Gangsters have been part of life in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, for decades. And nowhere is their rule more notorious than in the slums of Lyari, a dusty warren of low-slung tenement houses in the south central part of Karachi.

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World
1:49 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Pakistan's 'Patriot Act' Could Target Politicians

A policeman stands guard at the Parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, in June. The Lower House recently passed a bill similar to the United States' Patriot Act, touching off a debate about privacy in the country.
Ahmad Kamal Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:16 am

Earlier this month, Pakistan's powerful Lower House of Parliament passed what analysts have dubbed Pakistan's Patriot Act. Its name here is "Investigation for Fair Trial Bill."

It has been presented to the Pakistani people as a way to update existing law and usher the rules for investigation in Pakistan into the 21st century. Among other things, it makes electronic eavesdropping admissible as evidence in court.

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Europe
2:24 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

'One Pound Fish': A Pakistani Man's Passport To Fame

Pakistanis welcome Muhammad Shahid Nazir, center, the singer of "One Pound Fish," at Lahore's airport Thursday.
Hamza Ali AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

There's a new Internet video that might give the Web sensation "Gangnam Style" a run for its money. It's for a song called "One Pound Fish," and its unlikely star is a 31-year-old Pakistani man who until recently was a fishmonger in London's Upton Park.

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World
12:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Multiple Feuds Bring A Record Year Of Violence To Karachi

Gul Mohammed Khan has lost three sons in sectarian violence during the last two years, in Karachi, Pakistan. He stands here with some of his grandchildren who have lost their fathers. When he looks at his grandchildren, he says, he sees his sons.
Dina Temple-Raston/NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 8:35 am

The sad truth about Karachi in 2012 was that whatever your religion, business affiliation, or political party, someone was willing to kill you for it.

The murder rate in Pakistan's largest city and commercial hub hit an all time high last year. Over 2,500 people died in violent crimes in Karachi in 2012, a 50 percent increase over the year before.

Most of the deaths were attributable to sectarian killings and score settling. Shia Muslims took on the brunt of the violence. But Sunni Muslims were killed in reprisal attacks that added to the tally.

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