Margot Williams

Margot Williams is a NPR News Investigations database correspondent. Along with her reporting, Williams works behind the scenes compiling, mining and analyzing data for investigative reports, ferreting for information, and connecting the dots.

Since joining NPR in October 2010, Williams has helped examine the massive trove of secret documents about the Guantanamo Bay detainees. Williams and NPR collaborated with The New York Times to provide an assessment of the reports which were leaked to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. In addition, Williams worked with NPR Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson to investigate the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Communications Management Unit for convicted terrorists. The NPR Investigation identified 86 of the more than 100 men for the first time; most are Muslims and have lived in the special units often called "Guantanamo North."

For five years prior to NPR, Williams worked as the database research editor and on the computer assisted reporting team at The New York Times. She spent 14 years at The Washington Post in several different positions including: research editor, library director, metro news resource director, and wrote for The Post's "Networkings" column. From 1998-90, Williams was the library director for the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Over the course of her career Williams has received a number of accolades and honors. In 2004, she was awarded first place for Explanatory Journalism on Major League Baseball from the Associated Press Sports Editors. Williams worked on the team that earned the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for National Affairs for The Washington Post's coverage of 9/11 aftermath and terrorism. She contributed to The Post's 1999 Pulitzer Prize Public Service Award for work on the investigative project "Deadly Force". In 1999, she was awarded Best of Show from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association. Williams was awarded first place in Business/Economics from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association in 1989.

A frequent speaker and educator at journalism conferences, seminars and graduate programs, Williams has participated in Global Investigative Journalism, Investigative Reporters & Editor and the Poynter Institute, among many others. Williams first book, Cuba from Columbus to Castro, was released in 1981 by Simon & Schuster. Most recently, in 1999, she co-wrote with Nora Paul, Great Scouts! CyberGuides for Subject Searching on the Web, published by Cyberage books.

Williams earned a Master of Science degree in library and information science from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian studies from The City College of New York.

4:59pm

Thu May 16, 2013
The Two-Way

Who Are The Terrorism Informants In Witness Protection?

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:59 pm

Michael Fortier, who spent time in federal prison for knowing about the Oklahoma City bomb plot, is one of several terrorism informants in the federal witness protection program.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Known or suspected terrorists who cooperated with federal investigators in at least six major terrorism investigations over two decades were granted protection under the federal witness protection program –- and two of them temporarily could not be found by federal authorities, according to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general.

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1:53pm

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Trial Of American Alleged To Have Supported Al-Qaida Getting Started

Tarek Mahenna.

Facebook.com

Opening statements are set to begin Thursday in Boston at the trial of Tarek Mehanna, a 29-year-old American charged in U.S. District Court with conspiracy and providing material support to al-Qaida, as well as planning to attend training camps abroad and making false statements to authorities. He faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

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9:40am

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Five More High Profile Inmates Sent To 'Guantanamo North' Prison Units

Five men convicted in a recent wave of high profile domestic terrorism cases are now in special communications management units (CMUs) in the American Midwest, where their conversations are monitored 24 hours a day by counterterrorism analysts at the U.S Bureau of Prisons in West Virginia.

A new analysis by NPR's Investigations unit shows several new arrivals into the secretive CMU units, based in Terre Haute, Ind. and Marion, Ill.:

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