Dina Temple-Raston

As special correspondent, Dina Temple-Raston develops programming focused on the news of the day and issues of our time.

Previously, Temple-Raston served as NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent, reporting from all over the world. In that role, Temple-Raston covered deadly terror attacks in the U.S. and abroad, the evolution of ISIS, and radicalization. While on leave from NPR, Dina independently executive produced and hosted a non-NPR podcast about adolescent decision making called What Were You Thinking.

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 Asia 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. She is a frequent contributor to the PBS Newshour, 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.

In Arabic, haqq is the word for truth.

Last week in the United Arab Emirates, group of Muslim scholars held what they called a "haqqathon" – a hackathon meant to create new ways for Islamic scholars to connect with young Muslims and, by doing so, defuse violent extremists like the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

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And al-Qaida is at the center of a pretty stunning announcement from the White House this morning. President Obama said two hostages of al-Qaida, including an American, were killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation.

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Six Minnesota men were arrested over the weekend for trying to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State. The youngest was 18. The oldest was 21. The men come from a large Somali-American community in Minneapolis. And as NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, the FBI has been tracking them for months.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: As Minnesota's U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger read through the names of the six men at the center of the case, to the local Somali community, the announcement sounded achingly familiar.

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Two women who were roommates in Brooklyn, N.Y., have been arrested in a homegrown terrorism plot. Separately, a man thought to be one of the highest-ranking Americans in al-Qaeda will face charges in the U.S.

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An Illinois National Guardsman and his cousin were arrested for allegedly conspiring to provide support to the self-proclaimed Islamic State. One of the men wanted to go to Syria to martyr himself, and the other planned to carry out an attack on a nearby military base in northern Illinois.

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In the first use of government powers enacted after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered five websites blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. The action raises questions about how governments might counter groups such as the self-declared Islamic State on digital platforms.

CIA Director John Brennan told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York today that the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, is facing dissension in its ranks and is finding it hard to govern the territory it controls. These are the same problems terrorist groups that try to govern have faced in the past.

The director was cautiously optimistic that the group, which stormed across Syria and Iraq last summer and has held much of the territory it captured since then, is stumbling.

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Now a development in a story we heard on this program last week. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston told us about an 18-year-old Minnesota man arrested for trying to join ISIS. Today he entered a guilty plea and, as Dina reports, began to explain why he wanted to join the group.

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This week officials are gathering in Washington to discuss how to counter extremist messages, particularly those from the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

ISIS has been luring thousands of Westerners to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. The number of Americans who have traveled to Syria is still relatively small — in the neighborhood of 150 people — and a thin slice of that group, perhaps as many as two dozen Americans, are thought to have joined ISIS.

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Among the sweeping changes France is proposing in the aftermath of this month's terrorist attacks in Paris are new measures to fight Islamic radicalization in its prisons. It is an enormous problem brought into starker relief because two of the suspects in the attacks earlier this month were products of the French penal system.

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Today in Paris, after a moment of silence to honor the victims of last week's terrorist attacks, a lone voice in the French Parliament began singing.

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A manhunt continues in France for a woman officials believe was part of the attacks that rocked Paris this week.

French officials released a photo of Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, who they say was involved in the killing of a policewoman in Paris on Thursday, and who possibly was involved in the hostage standoff in a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris earlier today. That siege resulted in the killing of four hostages and the death of Amedy Coulibaly, 32, who is thought to be Boumeddiene's husband or boyfriend.

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Shannon Maureen Conley was just 19, barely out of high school and a convert to Islam, when she fell in love with a Tunisian man who said he was an Islamic State fighter in Syria. And, according to a criminal complaint, she wanted to leave her Denver suburb and join him.

Over the course of five months, the FBI talked to Conley nine times, trying to persuade her not to go to Syria.

But it didn't work. According to a local news report, her father tipped off the FBI after he found her one-way ticket from Denver to Turkey.

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What has come to be known as the "Torture Report" by Senate investigators broke more new ground than expected. Lawmakers examined interrogations of terror suspects after 9/11.

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Counterterrorism officials in the U.S. and the United Kingdom have been quietly discussing an outright ban on hand-carried luggage aboard airplanes for weeks now in the wake of intelligence reports that suggest al-Qaida may be planning to target planes around Europe before the Christmas holidays.

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