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Sebastian Rotella is a senior reporter at ProPublica. An award-winning foreign correspondent and investigative reporter, Sebastian worked for almost 23 years for the Los Angeles Times, covering everything from terrorism to arts to the Mexican border. He served most recently as a national security correspondent in Washington, D.C., and his previous posts include international investigative correspondent and bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires, with assignments in the Middle East and North Africa.
Rotella has been honored with numerous journalism awards throughout his career. In 2013, his multi-faceted "Finding Oscar" investigation won a Peabody Award, Dart Center Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, and was a finalist for the Scripps Howard Ernie Pyle Award. He was recognized with an Urbino Press Award in 2012 for excellence in journalism. His "A Perfect Terrorist" investigation of the Mumbai attacks (in conjunction with Frontline) was nominated for an Emmy and the online version of the story resulted in his third Overseas Press Club Award in 2011.
In 2006, he was named a Pulitzer finalist for international reporting for his coverage of terrorism and Muslim communities in Europe. He won the German Marshall Fund's senior award for excellence in European reporting the same year. He was part of a team whose coverage of al-Qaida received an award from the Overseas Press Club and finalist honors for Harvard University's Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2002. In 2001, he won Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Prize for his career coverage of Latin America. His work in Latin America also won honors from the Overseas Press Club, the Inter-American Press Association and the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
He is the author of two novels: The Convert’s Song (December, 2014) and Triple Crossing (2011). He is also the author of Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (1998). He speaks Spanish, French and Italian. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and was born in Chicago.
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Dec. 15, 2011, 5:25 p.m.Federal prosecutors fired another broadside Thursday in a massive case accusing the Hezbollah militant group of financing itself through the global drug trade.
Dec. 13, 2011, 4:23 p.m.U.S. authorities say a Lebanese drug kingpin is at the center of a conspiracy that laundered more than $250 million in drug-related proceeds and sent at least 85 tons of Colombian cocaine through Central America and Mexico in partnership with the Zetas cartel.
Oct. 12, 2011, 2:47 p.m.Plot to kill Saudi ambassador with Mexican drug cartel's help would represent a brazen, new direction for both, which have avoided direct confrontation with the U.S. The case increases concerns about growing activity by Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America.
July 19, 2011, 11:24 p.m.In an indictment unsealed Tuesday, the FBI accused two men of funneling millions of dollars from the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, into political campaign donations and other activities meant to influence American policy on Kashmir.
July 13, 2011, 3:04 p.m.Despite international pressure on Pakistan, most of the suspected masterminds behind the last major attack on Mumbai remain at large.
June 13, 2011, 3:46 p.m.U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald defended a plea agreement with confessed terrorist David Headley. Defense lawyers say the government got played and used a whale to catch a minnow.
June 9, 2011, 8:36 p.m.Questions linger after the conviction of a Chicago-based businessman for supporting the group behind the Mumbai terror attacks.
May 31, 2011, 6:57 p.m.David Coleman Headley testified Tuesday that he tried to help U.S. authorities lure a suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks out of Pakistan. He also said an al-Qaida-connected leader wanted to assassinate the head of Lockheed Martin.
May 30, 2011, 11:05 p.m.Prosecutors knew the star witness in a U.S. federal court trial involving the 2008 Mumbai attacks had a tainted past. So, FBI investigators scoured the world for evidence to corroborate his testimony.
May 24, 2011, 9:35 p.m.Confessed terrorist David Coleman Headley says he met with six Pakistani intelligence officers during his years of terrorist activity. In court on Tuesday he said he was “pleased” when he learned that 166 people had been slaughtered in the Mumbai attacks.
May 23, 2011, 8:59 p.m.David Coleman Headley, a confessed Pakistani-American terrorist, alleges that Pakistani officers played a central role in reconnaissance and planning for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
May 22, 2011, 5 p.m.Tahawwur Rana is on trial for being an accomplice in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. But the spotlight will be on the star witness, David Coleman Headley, who has pleaded guilty in the case and has said he was working for Pakistan's intelligence service as well as for the terrorist group Lashkar-i-Taiba.
May 11, 2011, 8:24 p.m.Al Qaeda leader’s writings discuss everything from targeting U.S. leaders to personality clashes among militants.
May 4, 2011, 4:11 p.m.Federal prosecutors have quietly charged a suspected Pakistani intelligence officer with helping to plot the murders of six Americans in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The trial of a defendant in the case begins this month in Chicago.
May 2, 2011, 7:29 p.m.Suspicions that Bin Laden was protected by Pakistan's intelligence service reinforce longtime allegations that the ISI plays a double game.
May 2, 2011, 12:11 p.m.The U.S. investigation of the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai provides a detailed picture of the ties between Pakistan's intelligence service and a leading militant group.
April 25, 2011, 9:05 p.m.Four alleged masterminds of the Mumbai attacks have been indicted in a U.S. federal court, including two who have been linked to Pakistan’s government, a close U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism.
Jan. 26, 2011, 9 a.m.The 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai offer a rare picture of the ties between Pakistan’s intelligence service and the militant group Lashkar-i-Taiba. The trail of two key figures, an accused Pakistani mastermind and his American operative, traces the rise of a complex, international threat.
Nov. 14, 2010, 10:36 p.m.Sajid Mir, a mysterious Lashkar chief with close ties to Pakistani security forces, deploys American David Coleman Headley to scout hotels and other targets in Mumbai where foreigners are likely to be found.
Nov. 13, 2010, 9:39 p.m.U.S. authorities identify a mastermind of plot that killed 166. Whether he will be brought to justice remains uncertain.
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