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.

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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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.

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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We've heard a lot lately about Americans trying to go to Syria to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Mostly, they are arrested just before stepping aboard a plane and charged with supporting terrorists.

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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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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.

One of the first targets of U.S. airstrikes in Syria was an al-Qaida unit that American officials call the Khorasan Group. Because few outside the intelligence community had ever heard of it, some critics have said Khorasan was created out of whole cloth to give the U.S. an excuse to bomb Syria.

Editor's note on Nov. 17, 2015: This story was originally published in September 2014. But in the wake of the Paris attacks and the discussions surrounding it, we're republishing it now.

While the al-Qaida offshoot known as the Khorasan Group only burst into the public consciousness in the past week, the group has been on the radar of counterterrorism officials for a while, and intelligence officials say they have tracked the individual members of the group for years.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently talked about the militants associated with the Islamic State, the group also known as ISIL or ISIS. He made them sound 10 feet tall.

"ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen," he said. "They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology [and] a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess; they are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we've seen."

Mocha Hookah is a little Middle Eastern restaurant and cafe on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn where you can pick up a shawarma gyro sandwich and a falafel platter and still get change back from your $20 bill. Walk inside and there's Arabic music, soccer games on flat screen televisions, and a hookah, or water pipe, set up at every table.

The heyday of "war tourism" was probably the 1930s, when a host of intellectuals and artists left the U.S. to bear witness to the Spanish Civil War. Ernest Hemingway wrote about it. George Orwell, just to name another, actually fought in it.

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Today, American foreign policy intersected with personal tragedy. The parents of James Foley spoke about their son. He's the American journalist killed by the extremist group known as the Islamic State.

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