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.

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In the fight against terrorist organizations, one weapon has been effective in the past: cutting off their funding.

Terrorist groups tend to get their money from outside donors or charities. But the Islamic State, the group that now controls huge areas of Syria and Iraq, doesn't get its money that way. So the methods the U.S. Treasury has used to fight terrorist groups in the past won't work as well.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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This week a young man in Texas became the first American to plead guilty to terrorism charges related to the recent fighting in Iraq.

Michael Wolfe, 23, was arrested just before he boarded a plane. He was on his way to join ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Sunni extremist group that has been storming its way across Iraq for the past two weeks.

ISIS and hundreds of other rebel groups in Syria have inspired thousands of young men around the world to leave their homes and join the fight.

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

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While eyes have been focused on Sunni extremists and their lightning campaign across Iraq, there is a much more fundamental war raging behind the scenes.

It is a clash between two arch-terrorists: the head of al-Qaida's central operation, Ayman al-Zawahri, and the man leading the Sunni extremist charge in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The outcome of the battle between the two men could fundamentally change the face of terrorism.

The dust-up between Zawahri and Baghdadi broke out in the open earlier this year, and it centered on territory.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is proving to be both militant and disciplined, borrowing organizational tools from the corporate world to professionalize its operations.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is flush with cash, and holds as much as $2 billion. Counterterrorism officials say the group knows how to use that money to its advantage. It's showing a kind of professional acumen and discipline that sets it apart from other terrorist organizations. But what kinds of attacks can its money buy?

Back in 2006, when Germany was hosting the World Cup soccer tournament, a terrorist attack was narrowly averted. With bombs hidden in their suitcases, two men in their 20s boarded commuter trains in the city of Cologne.

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Yousef al-Khattab helped change the way young Muslims were radicalized by spewing extreme Islamist propaganda on a YouTube channel.

Now al-Khattab, who was born Joseph Leonard Cohen and was brought up in New Jersey and in Brooklyn in a Jewish home, tells NPR he made a big mistake and describes himself as a "failure." He's scheduled to appear in a federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Friday to be sentenced on terrorism charges.

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