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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The Two-Way
11:01 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Top Prosecutor At Guantanamo Military Commissions To Retire

Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins.
U.S. Central Command

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 11:03 pm

NPR has learned that the top prosecutor at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions has asked to retire from the military after he finishes his assignment there.

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins says he hopes the decision will drain some of the politics out of the chief prosecutor's position and will provide some continuity.

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National Security
11:01 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

For U.S. Analysts, Rethinking The Terror Threat

U.S. officials are looking more closely for signs of state-sponsored terrorism these days. In this attack, Israel blamed Iran for bombing a car belonging to the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 13. The wife of an Israeli diplomat was injured. Iran denied it was involved.
Joji Thomas AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 9:16 am

There has been a subtle shift taking place in the intelligence community in recent months.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials say analysts and experts who have been tracking al-Qaida for more than a decade have been quietly reassigned. Some are being moved completely out of al-Qaida units. Others are being asked to spend less time watching al-Qaida and more time tracking more traditional foes — like state-sponsored terrorists.

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National Security
11:01 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Officials Look For Signs Of Al-Qaida Surge In Syria

This frame grab from video provided by the SITE Intel Group shows al-Qaida's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri calling on Muslims to support rebels in Syria. The video was released earlier this month.
AP

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 11:18 am

U.S. intelligence officials tracking the situation in Syria have their eye on one group in particular: al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq.

The group has longstanding ties to Syria, and its early members weren't just Iraqis; many of them were Syrians. The former leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, not only established a network of fighters in Syria, but he also folded them into his northern Iraqi faction of al-Qaida.

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National Security
2:29 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Hezbollah Suspect May Face U.S. Military Commission

U.S. Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner speaks in Baghdad in July 2007 near a poster of Ali Musa Daqduq. Daqduq was captured in Iraq in March 2007, and is accused of orchestrating the killings of five U.S. soldiers. The U.S. left Daqduq in Iraqi custody when U.S. troops formally withdrew in December. But the Obama administration is seeking to try him before a military commission.
Wsthiq Khuzaie AP

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 3:18 pm

The Obama administration is seeking to try a Lebanese man linked to Hezbollah in a military commission, expanding the reach of the military tribunal beyond al-Qaida and Taliban suspects for the first time.

The man at the center of the case is Ali Musa Daqduq. He was the last detainee held by American forces in Iraq and had been turned over to Iraqi custody when U.S. forces formally withdrew from Iraq in December.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Christmas Day Bomber Sentenced To Life In Prison

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty in October to a plot to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25, 2009.
U.S. Marshals Service, File AP

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:10 pm

The man who tried to blow up a U.S. passenger plane three Christmases ago was sentenced to life in prison in a Detroit courtroom today. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 25, boarded Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Dec. 25, 2009, with a massive bomb hidden in his underwear. As the plane approached Detroit, he tried to detonate the explosives. They failed to go off.

Four months ago, on the second day of his criminal trial, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty.

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National Security
7:00 am
Sat February 11, 2012

Lawyers Share The Bench In Terrorism Cases

Originally published on Sat February 11, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Europe
12:39 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Case In Britain Echoes Dilemma At Guantanamo

Omar Othman, better known as Abu Qatada, is seen at his North London home in October 2001. A British court ruled Monday that he should be released on bail. Although he was never charged with a crime, British officials say he's a "dangerous" supporter of radical Islam.
AP

A legal case in Britain involving a radical cleric has raised new questions about whether authorities can hold a suspected terrorist forever. An immigration judge ruled Monday that a longtime terrorism suspect and detainee in the U.K. should be released on bail.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Military Judge Denies Request To Delay Sept. 11 Case At Guantanamo

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 3:51 pm

A request for a delay in the Sept. 11 case at Guantanamo has been denied.

Two lawyers close to the proceedings tell NPR that a military judge denied their request to delay the arraignment of the Sept. 11 suspects at Guantanamo until the summer.

The lawyers were asking for more time to file memos on why Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators should not be tried in a capital case and be eligible for the death penalty. The 911 suspects are expected to be arraigned before a military commission as early as April.

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National Security
3:10 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Justice Department Lawyers Play Role In Guantanamo

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 11:57 am

Anyone watching the recent court proceedings in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay couldn't have helped but notice that several of the lawyers sitting on the prosecution side of the courtroom were not in uniform. That's because two of the five lawyers prosecuting the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole attack aren't members of the military at all: They are lawyers from the Justice Department.

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National Security
1:50 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

With Al-Qaida's Core Weakened, U.S. Shifts Focus

Yemeni army soldiers gather at the historic castle of Rada last month, as hundreds of al-Qaida gunmen yielded to tribal pressure and withdrew from Rada, a town they had held for nine days. The U.S. is increasingly turning its focus to al-Qaida affiliates such as the one in Yemen.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 5:36 pm

Just months after the killings of Osama bin Laden and radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, U.S. intelligence officials are trying to assess just how dangerous al-Qaida still is.

They seem to agree that core al-Qaida — the group that launched the Sept. 11 attacks and looked to bin Laden for guidance — is in trouble.

Now, the discussion is about a loose affiliation of groups that present a diffuse and entirely different threat.

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National Security
11:01 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Guantanamo At 10: U.S. Weighs Future Of Detainees

The 20 detainees who stumbled down the gangway had been put on a nonstop flight from Kandahar, Afghanistan, to Cuba. The men came from all over the Middle East and Africa: Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia, Afghanistan. They all wore the same blackened goggles, earmuffs and orange socks as U.S. soldiers guided them from the plane by their elbows.

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National Security
11:44 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Sept. 11 Case A Litmus Test For Military Commissions

In this photograph of a sketch by courtroom artist Janet Hamlin, reviewed by the U.S. military, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a suspected plotter in the Sept. 11 attacks, attends his arraignment at the U.S. Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, in Cuba, on June 5, 2008. The trial for the five suspects is expected to begin sometime in the next few months.
Janet Hamlin AP

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 6:24 pm

The long-awaited trial of five men accused of helping plan the Sept. 11 attacks is scheduled to begin early this year in a revamped trial process at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Initially, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged with planning the attacks were going to be tried in a New York federal court, but congressional opposition forced the Obama administration to reverse course.

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National Security
2:56 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Terrorists Struggle To Gain Recruits On The Web

The Twitter page for al-Shabab, the radical Islamic group in Somalia that has been branded a terrorist organization by the U.S. Such groups are active in social media, but have not attracted many recruits.
Twitter.com

Terrorist groups seemed to be all over the Web in 2011. There were al-Qaida videos on YouTube, Facebook pages by Islamic militants in Somalia, and webzines – like Inspire magazine – produced by al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen.

If there were an award for the best known terrorist music recording in the past couple of years, it would probably go to the Somali militia group al-Shabab for a YouTube video that extolled the virtues of jihad, or holy war.

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National Security
4:01 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Officials Detail Plans To Fight Terrorism At Home

The White House will unveil a broad, new strategy Thursday aimed at battling homegrown terrorism in the U.S. The program aims to empower communities by teaching local officials to recognize violent extremism and see the threat as a public safety issue, like the battle against gangs and drugs.

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National Security
3:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

NYPD, FBI Squabble Could Benefit Pimentel's Defense

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 5:37 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Opinion
6:27 am
Sat November 19, 2011

Inside Guantanamo, Detainees Live In Limbo

Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 3:37 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Accused Bombing Mastermind Arraigned At Guantanamo

The Obama administration's first attempt to try a Guantanamo detainee in a military commission began Wednesday with the arraignment of the man accused of masterminding the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. The incident killed 17 servicemen and women in Yemen in 2000. Human rights groups object to trying terrorists in a parallel justice system hundreds of miles off U.S. shores.

The Two-Way
11:15 am
Wed November 9, 2011

At Guantanamo Hearing, Alleged Cole Mastermind Is 'All Swagger'

[The alleged mastermind of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole was seen today for the first time in nine years during an arraignment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It's the first test of the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston was there.]

When Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri walked into the Guantanamo courtroom this morning, he was all swagger.

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National Security
11:01 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Guantanamo Trial Opens with a Series of Firsts

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 7:44 am

The man accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 will be arraigned Wednesday at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. He is the first Guantanamo detainee to have his case tried under the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions, and he could be put to death if he is found guilty.

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Law
4:40 am
Thu October 27, 2011

In Boston Terrorism Trial, A Free Speech Defense

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 7:25 am

Opening statements are expected to begin Thursday in an unusual terrorism trial, involving a young Massachusetts man named Tarek Mehanna. What makes this case unusual isn't the alleged terrorist's plot. It's his defense: the First Amendment.

Mehanna's lawyers asked the judge Wednesday to instruct the jury about free-speech rights under the U.S. Constitution. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Mehanna tried to help al-Qaida by promoting its cause in an online blog. Mehanna's attorneys say he was just exercising his right to free speech — and isn't a terrorist at all.

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National Security
2:22 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

U.S. Keeping Close Watch On Al-Qaida in Africa

This image released by the SITE Intelligence Group on April 27, 2011 shows Thierry Dol, one of four French hostages held by al-Qaida's north Africa affiliate. U.S. counter-terrorism officials are concerned that al-Qaida affiliates in Africa are growing stronger.

Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 4:00 am

The U.S. has had major successes against al-Qaida this year, taking out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

But for American counterterrorism officials, concerns over al-Qaida in Africa keep growing.

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National Security
11:01 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

How Close Is Al-Qaida To Defeat?

Ayman al-Zawahiri (shown here in a still image posted online by al-Qaida in July) replaced Osama bin Laden at the top of al-Qaida's leadership. Some argue that eliminating a few key leaders would significantly weaken the group; others say the more dangerous threat — from al-Qaida affiliates — would be unaffected by changes in the group's core leadership.

Anonymous AP

A debate is raging in the intelligence community about what it means to defeat al-Qaida. Because America's efforts to capture or kill al-Qaida's key members have been so effective, some officials say the core group — al-Qaida's founders and longtime members hiding out in Pakistan — is near collapse.

One camp, which includes members of the Obama administration, says al-Qaida's core group is three to five members away from collapse. Others, however, say with al-Qaida affiliates gathering strength, any victory over the core will be a hollow one.

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U.S.
8:05 am
Tue October 11, 2011

'Underwear Bomber' Trial May Shed Light On Awlaki

This December 2009 file photo released by the U.S. Marshal's Service shows Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

U.S. Marshals Service, File AP

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 12:44 pm

Opening statements in the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspect in the failed Christmas Day attack on a U.S.-bound airliner, begin Tuesday in Detroit. Besides the obvious issue of Abdulmutallab's guilt or innocence, questions remain about his ties to the American-born radical imam killed last month in a CIA drone strike.

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Middle East
3:40 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Drone Strike Ends Hunt For Al-Qaida Leader

A Hellfire missile fired from an American drone killed Anwar al-Awlaki on Friday, ending a two-year hunt for a radical cleric who had called on his followers to attack the U.S. any way they could.

Some details of the strike are sketchy. U.S. officials and the Yemeni Defense Ministry both confirmed that a drone had fired on a convoy of cars that was carrying Awlaki in northern Yemen. They said it was a joint operation, but it is unclear what role the Yemeni military played in the attack.

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National Security
3:56 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Unit's Autonomy May Be Why FBI Missed Bias

The first inkling that something was amiss in the counterterrorism training given to local and federal law enforcement came in March. That's when NPR reported on the cottage industry of independent counterterrorism trainers who signed up to teach local and federal law enforcement officials about terrorism.

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National Security
2:54 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

In The Hunt For Al-Qaida, Drone Program Expands

U.S. Army Sgt. Don Stolle launches a Raven surveillance drone from Achin, Afghanistan, on Aug. 30. The drones have been widely used in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and now the military plans to employ them in other areas as it tracks suspected terrorists.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 3:45 pm

The Obama administration is expanding its controversial drone program to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

The Washington Post first reported last week that the administration was setting up secret bases for the unmanned aircraft all over the region. U.S. officials say the drone surveillance will allow them to keep watch on terrorists in Yemen and Somalia. The question is whether the program will eventually go a step further and include armed drones to kill terrorists before they strike.

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