Expert Opinion

Clare Lopez’s Experience and Qualifications

Clare M. Lopez

Clare M. Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense, WMD, and counterterrorism issues. Specific areas of expertise include Islam and Iran. She 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, and acquired 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, and speaks several languages, including Spanish, Bulgarian, French, German, and Russian, and currently is studying Farsi. Now a private consultant, Lopez also serves as Vice President of the non-profit forum, The Intelligence Summit, and is a Professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre), where she teaches courses on the Iranian Intelligence Services, and the expanding influence of Jihad and Shariah in Europe and the U.S. She is affiliated on a consultant basis with DoD contractors that provide clandestine operations training to military intelligence personnel. Lopez 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.


Please help us convince Wake Forest to hold a public debate to discuss this issue.


Read the letters sent to Wake Forest asking them to look into Imam Griggs.

Wake Forest University's Radical Imam

by Clare Lopez

When Wake Forest University hired Khalid Griggs in February 2010 to be its first Muslim Assistant Chaplain, President Nathan O. Hatch hailed the "broader dialogue among people of different faith traditions" and the "greater awareness of differing beliefs" that he apparently supposed would flow naturally from the appointment.

Hatch might have been excused for his ignorance at the time, because the Center for Security Policy (CSP, a Washington, D.C. think tank, had not yet published its seminal study on Islamic law (shariah) and the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan). "Shariah: The Threat to America." Once that work came out in October 2010, though, it is difficult to understand how the president of such a respected American university could have remained so oblivious to the serious implications of allowing an individual like Griggs with openly-publicized links to the Muslim Brotherhood access to Wake Forest students.

Actually, someone with Hatch's level of professional responsibility might have been expected to demonstrate a better awareness of Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] activities well before 2010: the Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial concluded in November 2008 with a unanimous 108-count guilty verdict for the top leadership of this ostensible Islamic "charity" which was found to have channeled millions of dollars to the Islamic terror organization HAMAS, the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

By order of the judge in the case, voluminous documents from that Richardson, TX trial were posted to the Internet precisely for the purpose of educating Americans about the Muslim Brotherhood's activities in the U.S. A university president, who has been entrusted with the academic formation of thousands of impressionable young minds, has no greater responsibility than to investigate thoroughly the background of those he brings onto his campus.

In the case of Khalid Griggs, Hatch's failure has been and continues to be egregious. Even a cursory Google search readily turns up the information that Griggs is closely affiliated with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). Had Hatch done even the minimal homework expected of a college sophomore, he would know that ICNA was included on a Muslim Brotherhood document submitted (unopposed) into evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial titled, "A list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends," which identified ICNA as an entity or affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

To make things even worse, it turns out that Wake Forest's new imam isn't just "affiliated" with ICNA: he's the Chairman for the ICNA Council for Social Justice.

There's more. Khalid Griggs is the Imam and a founding member of the Community Mosque in Winston-Salem, NC. Together with other founding members, including Ibrahim Hanif, Jamal Abdullah, and Salih Abdul Latif, Griggs is a member of The Islamic Party of North America. Its signature publication, "Taking Islam to the Street: The Da'wah of the Islamic Party of North America," candidly describes its ideology as "a revolutionary Islam" grounded in the teachings of Maulana Abu'l a'la Maududi, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Muammar Qaddaffi, and Sayyed Qutb.

Maududi was the hugely influential Pakistani Salafist who founded Jama'at-i-Islami (Society of Islam) and effectively bridged the thinking of Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Sayyed Qutb, perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood's foremost theoretician.

The Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution toppled the Shah of Iran and instituted a savage reign of jihadist terror whose reverberations continue to destabilize the Middle East and beyond.

Muammar Qaddaffi was the brutal, terror-sponsoring Libyan dictator overthrown and killed in early 2011.

The Community Mosque of Winston-Salem also features a direct link from its site to the Muslim Brotherhood's website where Yousuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood's modern-day senior "spiritual leader," dispenses fatwas and jihad advice. These are the ideologues to whom Khalid Griggs and his Winston-Salem mosque colleagues look for inspiration. Is this the type of thinking that Nathan Hatch finds acceptable for Griggs to share with Winston-Salem students?

It gets worse. Griggs is also a member of the Shura Council for the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), an organization co-founded and led by Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. MANA's General Secretary, Ihsan Bagby, is also affiliated with self-identified Muslim Brotherhood front groups that the DoJ listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR—also known as HAMAS in the U.S.), the Fiqh Council of North America, and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). MANA's website includes an essay by Imam Mohamed Balanonie entitled "The Role of the Masjid," which explains that the Masjid (mosque) is the headquarters of the "Islamic State," a "springboard" for the "implementation of Islam," and "the starting point to the expansion of Islam and the Islamic conquests." Ensuring there is no mistake about the offensive role of the mosque in the execution of jihad, Balanonie quotes Ibn Taimiyah, who wrote that the mosque is a place where "matters of politics were dealt with, troops and platoons were deployed" and "the war booties are divided."

To sum this up, Wake Forest University's Assistant Imam, Khalid Griggs, is also the Imam at a Winston-Salem mosque with an aggressively jihadist mission statement. He is a board member of ICNA, a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. He is a Shura Council member of MANA, which views mosques as Muslim community centers where Islamic conquests are planned and launched. All of this information is freely available on the Internet, as the numerous hyperlinks in this essay attest. The Team B II report, "Shariah: The Threat to America," was published more than a year ago and the Holy Land Foundation trial documents have been posted to the Internet for three years now.

What part of a university president's job is more important than conducting this kind of due diligence on the personnel who will be in direct, perhaps even daily, contact with the young students that parents send to Winston-Salem in the expectation that they will be guided in an academic environment that is professional, safe, and terror-free? There is none.

President Nathan Hatch owes the alumni, parents, students, and the Wake Forest University Foundation Board of Directors a thorough explanation of exactly how Khalid Griggs' resume ever made it past the first screening, and how such an individual could have been permitted contact and interaction with Winston-Salem University students for almost two years.

Clare M. Lopez, a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund, writes regularly for, and is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on Middle East, national defense, and counterterrorism issues. Lopez began her career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

The article as it appeared on The Clarion Project can be read here.