Dina Temple-Raston

Dina Temple-Raston is a correspondent on NPR's Investigations team focusing on breaking news stories and national security, technology and social justice.

Previously, Temple-Raston worked in NPR's programming department to create and host I'll Be Seeing You, a four-part series of radio specials for the network that focused on the technologies that watch us. Before that, she served as NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent for more than a decade, reporting from all over the world to cover deadly terror attacks, the evolution of ISIS and radicalization. While on leave from NPR in 2018, she independently executive produced and hosted a non-NPR podcast called What Were You Thinking, which looked at what the latest neuroscience can reveal about the adolescent decision-making process.

In 2014, she completed a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University where, as the first Murrey Marder Nieman Fellow in Watchdog Journalism, she studied the intersection of Big Data and intelligence.

Prior to joining NPR in 2007, Temple-Raston was a longtime foreign correspondent for Bloomberg News in China and served as Bloomberg's White House correspondent during the Clinton Administration. She has written four books, including The Jihad Next Door: Rough Justice in the Age of Terror, about the Lackawanna Six terrorism case, and A Death in Texas: A Story About Race, Murder and a Small Town's Struggle for Redemption, about the racially-motivated murder of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas, which won the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers prize. She is a regular reviewer of national security books for the Washington Post Book World, and also contributes to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Radiolab, the TLS and the Columbia Journalism Review, among others.

She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and she has an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Manhattanville College.

Temple-Raston was born in Belgium and her first language is French. She also speaks Mandarin and a smattering of Arabic.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. The report warned that the instructors were not being properly vetted and some were presenting skewed views about Muslim-Americans and their potential links to terrorism.

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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