Dina Temple-Raston

Dina Temple-Raston is NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent and has been reporting from all over the world for the network's news magazines since 2007.

She recently completed a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University where she studied the intersection of Big Data and intelligence.

Prior to NPR, 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, WNYC's 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.

Imagine this scenario: A young Muslim leaves home to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Thousands of young men from Europe have done exactly that in the past two years.

But here's the twist: Imagine that just weeks after arriving, the young man realizes he's made a terrible mistake. What does he do now?

Sarah, a 21-year-old new college graduate, initially didn't pay much attention when one of her classmates double-clicked on a YouTube video from a Muslim extremist and cranked up the sound. The soft voice that came out of the speaker was that of Junes Kock, the Scandinavian spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamist group that has a following in Denmark among young Muslims.

For months, Sarah and her friends had been talking about what it meant to be Muslim in Denmark. The general consensus was that it was hard. Junes Kock, in hundreds of videos online, spoke to that.

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Nearly all of the men implicated in last week's attack in Brussels and the November rampage in Paris have something in common – they are ex-convicts.

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When 30-year-old Edward Archer opened fire on a Philadelphia policeman earlier this month, he quickly offered authorities a motive: He told them he had done it for the Islamic State.

"He pledges his allegiance to the Islamic State," Capt. James Clark of the Philadelphia Police Department told reporters hours after the Jan. 7 shooting. "He follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this."

The FBI, for its part, has said it is investigating the attack as a possible act of terrorism — inspired by ISIS.

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Editor's note: This story ran originally on Dec. 2, 2015. It has been updated to reflect this week's bombings in Brussels.

When police announced that Khalid el-Bakraoui and his brother, Ibrahim, had blown themselves up in two separate attacks in Brussels on Tuesday, the pair became the latest example of terrorists who share fraternal bonds.

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If you walk along the shopping streets of Paris, you could be excused if you thought the city had somehow managed to put last week's terrorist attacks behind it.

Along Boulevard Haussmann, children bundled against the cold climb small platforms to gaze, nose-to-glass, at the Christmas windows of the Printemps department store. The sidewalks are crowded, and the city's holiday shoppers appear to be arriving in droves.

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The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday could be an early harbinger of a new, more professional kind of terrorist attack leveled against the West.

In the past, al-Qaida depended on violent jihadis showing up in Pakistan or Yemen with a passport or visa that would allow them to return to home. The group would train them and send them back. Counter-terrorism officials are concerned that ISIS has taken that a step further by sending battle-hardened fighters to do their dirty work.

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