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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National Security
2:13 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Civil Liberties Group Concerned Over NSA Programs

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 12:39 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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National Security
12:34 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Obama Tweaks U.S. Vision For Fight Against Terrorism

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 3:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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National Security
11:44 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Obama Speech Expected To Touch On Drones, Guantanamo

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 7:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

For months now, the Obama administration has promised to reveal more about America's secret drone program, and today could be the day. The president will speak this afternoon at the National Defense University, and he's planning to discuss America's fight against terrorism. He is expected to address everything from drones to the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston has this preview.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
1:25 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Investigators Trace Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Activities Abroad

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:57 am

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
1:11 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Investigators Name Two Suspects In Boston Bombing

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:26 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
10:24 pm
Sun April 7, 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 5:32 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
10:15 pm
Sun March 31, 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 3:50 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
7:11 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 6:22 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
12:29 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
10:41 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

Hints Of Progress After Investigation at Guantanamo Court

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 2:52 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
8:05 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 9:01 am

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
10:31 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Procedure Expected To Bog Down Hearing For Alleged Sept. 11 Planners

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 6:44 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
11:22 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

How Mali's Conflict Affects Americans

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 2:07 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
1:15 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 5:32 am

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Middle East
11:54 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Pakistani Military Hopes Rehab Will Lead Men To Paralympics

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 2:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Asia
6:01 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 2:56 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
10:49 pm
Tue January 1, 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 6:16 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
11:37 am
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 9:19 am

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World
9:59 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

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 5:35 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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World
12:10 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Street Signs Intended To Give Pakistani City New Direction

Street signs in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, are rare. The few that exist are in disrepair, like the one above. Two entrepreneurs are looking to change that and improve navigation in the city.
Dina Temple-Raston

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 5:31 am

Landlords built Lahore in a haphazard way over centuries. They didn't concern themselves with city grids or sensible mapping. As a result, Lahore is renowned in Pakistan for being almost impossible to navigate.

And that's where Asim Fayaz and Khurram Siddiqi come in.

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World
11:29 am
Wed December 19, 2012

In Pakistan, Tax Evaders Are Everywhere — Government Included

An investigative report found that less than a third of Pakistani lawmakers filed tax returns for 2011. The report said Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, photographed in Paris in December, did not file a return, though his spokesman says he did.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:32 pm

Tax evasion is a chronic problem in Pakistan — only about 2 percent of the population is registered in the tax system, and the government collects just 9 percent of the country's wealth in taxes, one of the lowest rates in the world.

But now a new investigative report is making headlines. It says that just a third of the country's 446 federal lawmakers bothered to file income tax returns last year.

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NPR Story
12:18 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Gunmen In Pakistan Target Polio Vaccinators

Rukhsana Bibi (center) mourns for her daughter, polio worker Madiha Bibi, killed by unknown gunmen, at a local hospital in Karachi on Tuesday. Gunmen staged additional attacks Wednesday.
Fareed Khan AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 12:44 am

Pakistani gunmen staged new attacks Wednesday on health workers carrying out a nationwide polio vaccination program. Six workers were killed Tuesday as they went house to house to administer the immunizations to area children in Karachi and the northwest city of Peshawar.

Although there were additional attacks, the Pakistani government vowed to continue the vaccination campaign — and eradicate the disease — even if there is bloodshed.

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The Two-Way
10:31 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

Recovery To Take 'Quite A Long Time' In Storm-Ravaged Breezy Point

A chapel icon that once adorned the front of a beachfront home is one of the few items to have survived what is now known as the Breezy Point fire in Queens.
Dina Temple-Raston NPR

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 3:17 pm

Anyone who traveled to Breezy Point, Queens, in New York City in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, even as recently as a few of days ago, would have needed an SUV — its main thoroughfare was under 3 feet of water. Today, you can see pavement. It sounds like a small victory, but this beachfront, blue-collar town is willing to accept progress in increments.

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National Security
11:30 am
Fri October 26, 2012

As Jihadists Spread, Connecting The Dots Proves Hard

The Ansar Dine group in northeastern Mali is among the Islamist factions proliferating in North Africa and the Middle East. Officials have focused on possible links between these groups and al-Qaida, but counterterrorism experts say understanding the differences is just as important.
Adama Diarra Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 12:57 pm

More than a year after popular protests rocked the Arab world, U.S. intelligence officials are struggling to understand the myriad of Islamist groups that have filled the vacuum.

Those groups run the gamut from moderate believers who are willing to give the political process a try to violent extremists. The difficulty is figuring out which is which.

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National Security
12:51 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Minnesota Case Re-Opens Wounds Among Somalis

Burhan Hassan of Minnesota was recruited to fight in Somalia for al-Shabab, which the U.S. calls a terrorist group. He was killed there in 2009. This undated file photo released by his family in 2008.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:12 pm

For nearly three weeks, the benches at the back of a federal courtroom in Minneapolis were filled with local Somalis. The man on trial, Mahamud Said Omar, was accused of conspiring to help a terrorist group recruit some two dozen young Minnesota men to fight a holy war in Somalia.

It took a federal jury just eight hours to convict him of all of the five terrorism charges leveled against him, but the verdict is only the beginning for the Somali community in the Twin Cities.

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National Security
12:58 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Man Arrested In Plot To Blow Up NY Federal Reserve

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 2:09 pm

A man has been arrested in an alleged terror plot to blow up the Federal Reserve building in New York City. Federal authorities and the New York Police Department collaborated to foil the plot apparently conceived by a Bangladeshi man, Quazi Mohammd Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis. Nafis is said to have conceived the plot. However, authorities learned of the plot and actually provided what appeared to be the bomb. It was inert and there was no threat to the public.

National Security
2:26 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Court Overturns Conviction Of Bin Laden Driver

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden, who served a prison term for material support for terrorism.
AP

A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver and bodyguard, Salim Ahmed Hamdan. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Hamdan was at the center of a Supreme Court case that ruled that the Bush administration's military commission system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was unconstitutional.

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National Security
10:07 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Predicting The Future: Fantasy Or A Good Algorithm?

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 6:47 am

After failing to predict the Arab Spring, intelligence officials are now exploring whether Big Data, the combing of billions of pieces of disparate electronic information, can help them identify hot spots before they explode. The intelligence community has always been in the business of forecasting the future. The question is whether tapping into publicly available data — Twitter and news feeds and blogs among other things — can help them do that faster and more precisely.

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Asia
12:58 am
Sat October 6, 2012

U.S. Drones Navigate Murky Legal Path In Pakistan

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone sits on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport in southern Afghanistan in 2010. The U.S. has been using drones in Pakistan for years. The Pakistanis initially claimed the drone attacks as the work of their own military, but the strikes have become a source of friction.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 3:15 pm

The U.S. has been carrying out drone strikes in Pakistan for some eight years, but it's done so under a policy that has emerged piecemeal over that time.

"It started in 2004, when drones were really an oddity," says Daniel Markey, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was on the State Department's policy planning staff when it all started during the Bush administration.

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Africa
11:37 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Benghazi Attack Raises New Questions About Al-Qaida

U.S. authorities are investigating whether al-Qaida played a role in last month's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Here, a damaged vehicle sits outside the consulate one day after the attack.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 6:07 pm

For the past decade, al-Qaida has been a top-down organization.

Letters seized at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan showed that he was a hands-on manager, approving everything from operations to leadership changes in affiliate groups.

But there's early intelligence that al-Qaida may have had a small role in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11.

If al-Qaida involvement is confirmed, it may signal that al-Qaida has changed.

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