Dr. Richard Benkin
Prof. Louis Rene Beres
Col. Bill Cowan
Dr. Andrew M. Colarik
Col. Gordon Cucullu
Drs. Jill Dekker
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
Col. Jonathan Halevi
Cdr. Richard Marcinko
Gen. Thomas McInerney
LTC. Joe Myers
Dr. William Radasky
Dr. Babu Suseeian
Gen. Paul E. Vallely
Dr Paul Williams
Terri K. Wonder
Secular Islam Summit:
Clare M. Lopez
Vice President of the Intelligence Summit
Clare M. Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on Middle East, homeland security, national defense, and counterterrorism issues. Lopez began her career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving domestically and abroad for 20 years in a variety of assignments, acquiring extensive expertise in counterintelligence, counternarcotics, and counterproliferation issues with a career regional focus on the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. She has served in or visited over two dozen nations worldwide, speaks several languages, including Spanish, Bulgarian, French, German, and Russian, and currently is studying Farsi.
Now a private consultant, Lopez is a Professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre- www.cicentre.com ). Formerly, she was Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee, a Washington, DC think tank, from 2005-2006. She has served as a Senior Scientific Researcher at the Battelle Memorial Institute; a Senior Intelligence Analyst, Subject Matter Expert, and Program Manager at HawkEye Systems, LLC.; and previously produced Technical Threat Assessments for U.S. Embassies at the Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, where she worked as a Senior Intelligence Analyst for Chugach Systems Integration.
Lopez received a B.A. in Communications and French from Notre Dame College of Ohio and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, Virginia before declining a commission in order to join the CIA. Lopez is a member of the Advisory Board for the Intelligence Analysis and Research program and guest lecturer at her undergraduate alma mater, Notre Dame College of Ohio; she also has been a Visiting Researcher and guest lecturer on counterterrorism, national defense, and international relations at Georgetown University. Lopez is a regular contributor to print and broadcast media on subjects related to Iran and the Middle East and the co-author of two published books on Iran.
Abstract of a Presentation by Clare M. Lopez at Intelligence Summit 2007
“Radical Shi’ism Ascendant: Iran’s Terrorist Theocracy on the March Again”
When the Ayatollah Khomeini hijacked Iran’s Revolution in 1979, he seized for radical Shi’ism leadership of a modern nation state for the first time. Driven by an idiosyncratic ideology (Velayat-e Faqih) that requires Muslim society to be governed by a learned member of the clergy who forcibly implements Shar’ia, Khomeini and his successors have sought to impose that ideology not only at home, but on Iran’s regional neighbors too. The means they have chosen include assassination, suicide bombing, terrorism, and the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The early years of the 21st century are witness to a resurgence of Iran’s expansionist ambitions, both geo-strategic and ideological. Iran means to be the regional hegemon as well as overall leader of the global Islamist movement. This time, though, the United States has established a strong local presence intended to catalyze democratic reform in the region: to Iran’s east in Afghanistan and to its west in Iraq. The prospect that participatory civil societies governed by (man-made) rule of law might actually take shape on its borders has been too much for Iran’s totalitarian, and very corrupt, rulers.
Knowing that their window of opportunity is closing fast, Iran’s current Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, and his hand-selected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, lead the regime’s counterattack against the unacceptable challenge of free and prosperous democracies on their doorstep. They have dispatched thousands of intelligence and security, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and irregular militia members to ensure that sectarian strife keeps Iraq embroiled in conflict; they manufacture and deliver to Iraqi militias deadly explosive devices to kill American troops; they give the green light to their terrorist proxy, Hizballah, to launch a cross-border attack against Israel; they maintain their alliance with al-Qa’eda; and above all, they accelerate Iran’s drive to acquire a deployable nuclear weapons capability.
Only the United States is capable of leading the free and civilized world to meet and check the expansionism of Tehran’s not altogether rational Shi’ite regime. An American policy of support to the democratic Iranian opposition is the best way to encourage the Iranian people to take charge of their own future by ending the regime of the terrorist clerical clique currently driving Iran’s train out of control down the tracks. An Iran whose statal assets are denied to the terrorists, be they Sunni or Shi’ite, would contribute an incalculable boost to the Global War on Terrorism.
”Appeasing the Ayatollahs and Suppressing
Democracy: U.S. Policy and the Iranian
Opposition,” by the Iran Policy Committee
“What Makes Tehran Tick: Islamist Ideology and
Hegemonic Interests,” by the Iran Policy
Committee (November 2006)