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

Middle East
2:35 am
Thu September 20, 2012

U.S., Libyan Versions Of Consulate Attack Diverge

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was in flames during an attack on Sept. 11. There are competing narratives on whether the attack was premeditated.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:24 am

The attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last week has led to dueling versions of what unfolded that night in Benghazi.

To hear the Obama administration tell it, the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans was spontaneous — and staged by local extremists who saw an opportunity to hijack peaceful demonstrations against an offensive film.

The Libyans have a different view. They say it was a premeditated strike, launched by foreign fighters with ties to al-Qaida.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Percent Of Detainees Who Return To Terrorism After Release Edges Up

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 11:45 am

Almost 28 percent of the detainees transferred out of the U.S.-run detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have either returned to terrorism or are suspected of having done so, the Director of National Intelligence says in a new report.

Read more
National Security
2:38 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Taliban Showing New Willingness On Prisoner Swap

This image provided by IntelCenter on Dec. 8, 2010, shows a frame grab from a video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The 26-year-old Army sergeant was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago.
AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:14 am

There are new glimmers of hope for the only known U.S. prisoner of war held captive in Afghanistan — 26-year-old Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago. After lengthy discussions, it appears his captors may be more receptive than ever before to finding a way to send him home.

Read more
Middle East
4:05 am
Fri August 3, 2012

U.S. Sees Signs Of Al-Qaida Arm In Syria

Members of the Free Syrian Army are seen in a neighborhood of Damascus, Syria on June 28. Several huge suicide bombings this year suggest al-Qaida or other extremists are joining the battle against President Bashar Assad's regime.
AP

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 4:34 am

Late last month, counterterrorism officials discovered a disturbing video on YouTube that showed what appeared to be a faction of the Syrian rebel army standing in front of a fluttering black banner. The mysterious flag — which read "no god but God" in white Arabic cursive — is thought to be a reproduction of the Prophet Muhammad's battle flag. It has also become al-Qaida in Iraq's calling card in Syria.

Read more
National Security
4:50 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Osama's Driver Freed In Latest Guantanamo Release

Ibrahim al-Qosi, shown here on July 11 in Khartoum, Sudan, was released from Guantanamo Bay prison this week after spending a decade there. He was Osama bin Laden's former driver, and he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy with al-Qaida and supporting terrorism. There are now 168 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:54 pm

The latest detainee to leave the Guantanamo Bay prison boarded an Air Force jet earlier this week. His destination: Sudan. The man, 52-year-old Ibrahim al-Qosi, had admitted to being Osama bin Laden's bookkeeper, driver and sometime cook, and he was one of the first prisoners to arrive at Guantanamo in 2002.

Now, he is the latest to leave. His departure brings the total detainee population at the U.S. naval base in Cuba down to 168 — from a high of 680 in May 2003.

Read more
World
1:45 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Al-Qaida: Now Vying For Hearts, Minds And Land

Militiamen from the Ansar Dine Islamic group, an al-Qaida affiliate, ride on a vehicle in northeastern Mali in June. Mali is one of the places where al-Qaida-linked groups are trying to take over territory and win over local residents to their cause.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:33 pm

Al-Qaida has been subtly testing a new strategy. In the past couple of years, the group's affiliates have been trying their hand at governing — actually taking over territory and then trying to win over citizens who live there. It happened with various degrees of success in Somalia and Yemen, and recently in the northern deserts of Mali.

Read more
Africa
2:07 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Al-Qaida Arm In Yemen Flexes Its Muscles In Nigeria

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 11:25 am

An unusual terrorism case started in Nigeria late last week. Prosecutors in the capital city of Abuja accused two local men of being members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. They were charged with accepting thousands of dollars from the group to recruit potential terrorists inside Nigeria and then send them to Yemen. Olaniyi Lawal, 31, and Luqman Babatunde, 30, have pleaded not guilty.

Read more
National Security
4:22 am
Tue June 26, 2012

100 Suspected Radicals May Be Part Of U.S. Military

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The U.S. military has taken a close look at itself and found evidence of threats within its ranks.

MONTAGNE: The Pentagon, along with the FBI, has conducted more than 100 investigations into possible Islamist extremists inside the military.

NPR has learned that about a dozen of those cases are considered serious.

Read more
National Security
3:34 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

FBI Tracking 100 Suspected Extremists In Military

The FBI is investigating more than 100 suspected Muslim extremists who are part of the U.S. military community, officials tell NPR. U.S. authorities have increased scrutiny since the 2009 shooting attack at Fort Hood, Texas, that left 13 dead. Maj. Nidal Hasan, charged with the killings, is shown here in an April 2010 court hearing.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 4:27 pm

The FBI has conducted more than 100 investigations into suspected Islamic extremists within the military, NPR has learned. About a dozen of those cases are considered serious.

Officials define that as a case requiring a formal investigation to gather information against suspects who appear to have demonstrated a strong intent to attack military targets. This is the first time the figures have been publicly disclosed.

Read more
Middle East
6:44 am
Sun May 13, 2012

Al-Qaida In Yemen: A New Top U.S. Priority

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 11:09 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Terrorists are still targeting the U.S. homeland. We were reminded of that with news this past week that al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen plotted to blow up a plane headed to the United States.

Read more
National Security
3:15 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Sept. 11 Defendants Make Torture Focus Of Hearing

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other defendants accused of the 9/11 attacks refused to cooperate when they went before a military commission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Saturday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:20 am

The alleged mastermind of the Sept.11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other defendants appeared in a military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, over the weekend to answer a roster of charges filed against them. The hearing was supposed to be a straightforward arraignment, but nothing went according to plan.

Read more
National Security
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

For Alleged 9/11 Plotter, Attacks Were Family Affair

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who goes before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Saturday, has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and multiple attempted attacks against the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

The appearance of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other men in a military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ends a nearly decade-long back and forth over how best to try the men the U.S. says helped plan, pay for and execute the Sept. 11 attacks.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — or KSM, as he is known — has claimed that he was the mastermind of the attacks "from A to Z." But his ties to terrorism, by his own admission, go beyond that one plot. KSM saw himself as the sun around which his network revolved.

Read more
National Security
3:22 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

At Sept. 11 Trial, Military Commissions Face Scrutiny

In this photograph of a courtroom sketch, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, charged with orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks, attends a court hearing at Guantanamo in 2008. He's expected to appear in a military court Saturday.
Janet Hamlin AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 5:04 pm

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks were supposed to be tried six years ago in a military tribunal created by the Bush administration.

But that system — which allowed hearsay evidence, among other things — faced questions about its fundamental fairness. When President Obama came into office, he put all the proceedings at Guantanamo on hold and asked that the commission system be revamped.

Since then, there has been an effort to make sure the trials at Guantanamo are credible, with both Congress and the Supreme Court weighing in.

Read more
National Security
2:00 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Potential Torture Testimony Could Rattle Sept. 11 Case

A picture posted on the website www.muslm.net in 2009 allegedly shows al-Qaida's Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 11:02 am

The man who claims to have orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to appear in a military courtroom this Saturday. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men are supposed to answer formal charges related to their roles in the plot.

Their arraignment will be at Guantanamo Bay, and it is the first step that leads — possibly years from now — to a military trial.

Read more
National Security
2:04 am
Tue May 1, 2012

After Bin Laden, Al-Qaida Still Present As Movement

Thousands of Somalis gathered at a militant-organized demonstration on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, in support of the merger of the Somali militant group al-Shabab with al-Qaida, which was announced in February by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 7:16 am

A year ago Tuesday, Navy SEALs attacked Osama bin Laden's secret compound in Pakistan and may have fundamentally changed al-Qaida as we know it.

The Obama administration's top counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, spoke Monday in Washington, D.C., and seemed on the precipice of talking about the terrorist group in the past tense.

Read more
National Security
2:34 am
Tue April 24, 2012

'Convention' Of Convicted Terrorists At N.Y. Trial

Bosnian-born Adis Medunjanin is accused of playing a role in the 2009 plot to bomb New York City subways. This photo of Medunjanin was provided by the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, N.Y.
AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 9:27 am

There have been hundreds of terrorism trials in the U.S. since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but the case unfolding in Brooklyn, N.Y., is different. While its focus is on defendant Adis Medunjanin and the role he allegedly played in a 2009 plot to bomb New York City subways, the trial itself breaks new ground. It marks the first time the public is hearing in open court about real al-Qaida plots from the people the terrorist group actually dispatched to carry them out.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Suspect In USS Cole Bombing Wins One Legal Battle

Al-Nashiri, pictured in 2002, is being held at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 7:04 am

The man accused of masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, won a key battle at Guantanamo on Wednesday — a judge said he could meet with his lawyers without having to wear restraints.

Read more
National Security
1:52 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Alleged Cole Bomber's Testimony Could Be Secret

A small boat guards the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 20, 2000. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the man accused of masterminding the attack, is expected to testify Wednesday in a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay.
Hasan Jamali AP

In a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay on Wednesday, the man accused of masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, is expected to testify about the more than four years he spent in secret CIA prisons. Al-Nashiri is one of three terrorism suspects the U.S. government has admitted to waterboarding, so his testimony could be explosive. And that's why, critics argue, the government is trying to ensure that al-Nashiri's testimony be heard in secret.

Read more
National Security
2:03 am
Tue April 3, 2012

A Prosecutor Makes The Case For Military Trials

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, graduated first in his class at West Point, studied as a Rhodes scholar, and attended Harvard Law School. Here he speaks during a press conference at the military facility on Jan 18. following a hearing against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the main suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 1:01 pm

The chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is arguing a difficult case: that the commissions are not only fair, but can take pride of place alongside the civilian criminal justice system.

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins is the chief prosecutor for the commissions, the courts at the naval base that try high-profile terrorism suspects.

He has been called Guantanamo's detox man largely because he has made it his mission to show that the military commissions system at Guantanamo is no longer a toxic version of victor's justice.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages