Dina Temple-Raston

Adding to the coverage 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 fresh from a two year sabbatical in which she completed two books, learned Arabic and received a Master's Degree from Columbia.

A long-time foreign correspondent for Bloomberg News in Asia, Temple-Raston opened Bloomberg's Shanghai and Hong Kong offices working for both Bloomberg's financial wire and radio operations. She also served as Bloomberg News' White House correspondent during both Clinton administrations and covered financial markets and economics for both USA Today and CNNfn.

Temple-Raston is an award-winning author. Her first book, entitled A Death in Texas and about race in America, 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. She has two books related to civil liberties and national security. The first, In Defense of Our America (HarperCollins) written with Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, looks at civil liberties in post-9/11 America. The other, The Jihad Next Door (Public Affairs), is about the Lackawanna Six, America's first so-called "sleeper cell" and the issues that face Muslims in America.

Temple-Raston holds a Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and a Master's degree from the Columbia University's School of Journalism. She was born in Belgium and French was her first language.

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12:44pm

Thu January 5, 2012
National Security

Sept. 11 Case A Litmus Test For Military Commissions

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 7:24 pm

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

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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3:56pm

Thu December 29, 2011
National Security

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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5:01am

Thu December 8, 2011
National Security

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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4:00am

Fri November 25, 2011
National Security

NYPD, FBI Squabble Could Benefit Pimentel's Defense

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 6:37 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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7:27am

Sat November 19, 2011
Opinion

Inside Guantanamo, Detainees Live In Limbo

Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 4:37 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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4:00am

Thu November 10, 2011
NPR Story

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.

12:15pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

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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12:01am

Wed November 9, 2011
National Security

Guantanamo Trial Opens with a Series of Firsts

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 8:44 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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5:40am

Thu October 27, 2011
Law

In Boston Terrorism Trial, A Free Speech Defense

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 8:25 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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5:00am

Tue October 25, 2011
National Security

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

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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12:01am

Thu October 13, 2011
National Security

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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9:05am

Tue October 11, 2011
U.S.

'Underwear Bomber' Trial May Shed Light On Awlaki

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 1:44 pm

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

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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4:40pm

Fri September 30, 2011
Middle East

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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4:56am

Thu September 29, 2011
National Security

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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3:54pm

Mon September 26, 2011
National Security

In The Hunt For Al-Qaida, Drone Program Expands

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 4:45 pm

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

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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6:37am

Sun August 28, 2011
World

Key Al-Qaida Operative Killed, U.S. Officials Say

U.S. officials say that a CIA drone strike Aug. 22 killed al-Qaida's freshly minted second-in-command. Atiyah al-Rahman was a Libyan who was a key Osama bin Laden associate for decades.

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1:24pm

Wed August 3, 2011
National Security

White House Unveils Counter-Extremism Plan

Originally published on Thu August 4, 2011 11:56 am

The White House unveiled its strategy to counter radicalization today, ending months of speculation about how President Obama intends to tackle the problem of violent extremism in this country.

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10:31pm

Tue August 2, 2011
National Security

White House Report To Detail Anti-Extremism Effort

The White House will unveil its strategy to counter radicalization on Wednesday afternoon, ending months of speculation about how President Obama intends to tackle the growing problem of violent extremism in this country.

The strategy paper, titled The National Strategy on Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism, has been more than a year in the making and marks the first time the U.S. has laid out a comprehensive strategy to counter violent extremism.

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12:01am

Tue July 19, 2011
National Security

Imam Arrests Show Shift In Muslim Outreach Effort

The leader of this Miami Mosque, shown May 14, has been accused of financing terrorism in Pakistan. He has pleaded not guilty.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

In the second part of a series on counterterrorism training, NPR looks at a test case in Miami.

To understand the events that unfolded two months ago in Miami, you need to know that one of the most volatile things that can happen in a Muslim-American community is the arrest of a religious leader, the imam. Back in May, the FBI's Miami field office ended up arresting two of them: Imam Hafiz Khan and his son, Izhar Khan. They were charged along with several other members of the Khan family with financing terrorism in Pakistan.

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12:01am

Mon July 18, 2011
National Security

Terrorism Training Casts Pall Over Muslim Employee

In the first of two stories on counterterrorism training, NPR reports on one training session that turned a state employee into a suspect.

The man at the center of this story is a 59-year-old Jordanian-American named Omar al-Omari. He looks very much like the college professor that he is — all tweed jacket, button-down shirt, thick round glasses, drinking coffee. We met at a coffee shop near downtown Columbus, Ohio, where he laid out a series of events that ended with him being accused of having links to terrorism.

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12:01am

Tue May 31, 2011
Osama Bin Laden Killed

Al-Qaida's Paper Trail: A 'Treasure-Trove' For U.S.

When U.S. commandos stormed Osama bin Laden's compound earlier this month, they spent much of their time on the ground shoving papers, CDs and thumb drives into huge document bags strung around their necks. That sweep was considered an integral part of the operation, and it confirmed what the intelligence community had long believed: that bin Laden was obsessive about documenting everything.

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12:01am

Mon May 23, 2011
Law

Chicago Trial To Put Pakistan Spy Agency On The Spot

Opening arguments begin Monday in a Chicago trial that could complicate the already-fragile relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan. The case involves a man accused of helping facilitate the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, and the defendant, Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana, faces life in prison if he is convicted.

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12:01am

Fri May 13, 2011
Law

Trial Raises Questions On Pakistan's Terrorism Ties

A terrorism trial set to begin in Chicago next week could end up further inflaming tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan. The case involves a man named Tahawwur Rana, who was arrested two years ago and charged with conspiring with others in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Jury selection in his case begins Monday, but the question of Rana's guilt or innocence has taken a back seat to a bigger issue: Pakistan's role in the deadly attacks.

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2:36pm

Fri May 6, 2011
Osama Bin Laden Killed

Al-Qaida Vows To Remain 'A Curse'

Al-Qaida has confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden in a fiery, four-page screed that vows revenge.

The message, dated May 3 and signed by "the general leadership" of al-Qaida, was just released on Islamic and other websites and warned Americans that their "happiness will turn into sadness." It is the first word from the group since bin Laden's death Monday in Pakistan, and analysts say it clears the way for succession.

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5:34pm

Thu April 28, 2011
The Guantanamo Papers

At Guantanamo, Big Threats Found In Small Clues

If al-Qaida could learn anything from the latest classified documents released by WikiLeaks, it would be this: Lose the Casio watch. More specifically, lose the Casio F-91W — either the black plastic or silver bracelet version.

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5:55pm

Mon April 25, 2011
The Two-Way

Secret Documents: Guantanamo Interrogators Worked Without Nuance

Among the trove of secret military documents that we reported on today are new details about the evidence that has been gathered on the men who have been detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

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9:25pm

Sun April 24, 2011
NPR News Investigations

Military Documents Detail Life At Guantanamo

Thousands of pages of previously secret military documents about detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison now put a name, a history and a face on hundreds of men in captivity there. The documents include details on 158 men on whom no information has ever been released.

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