Turkey Returns to Jihad: Gülen & the Gülen Movement
Clare M. Lopez
Wednesday, May 4
7:30 p.m.-8:45 p.m.
About the speaker
Clare M. Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, is the co-author of the recently published book Gülen and the Gülenist Movement: Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Cult and its Contributions to the Civilization Jihad. Fethullah Gülen is the head of a vast political network in Turkey that promotes theocracy and has infiltrated the Turkish state. Gülen lives in the U.S. where he has established a significant number of charter schools. Her remarks will include commentary on Gülen’s erstwhile ally, now opponent, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the new Islamic Center in Lanham, MD.
Lopez is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Canadian Mackenzie Institute. In 2016, she was named to Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign national security advisory team. Since 2013, she has served as a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. Formerly Vice President of the Intelligence Summit, she was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006, and has served as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher for a variety of defense firms. She was named a 2011 Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute.
Already an advisor to EMP Act America, in February 2012 Ms. Lopez was named a member of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security, which focuses on the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) threat to the nation. She serves as a member of the Boards of Advisors/Directors for the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, The United West, and the Voice of the Copts. She has been a Visiting Researcher and guest lecturer on counterterrorism, national defense, and international relations at Georgetown University.
Ms. 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. She is the author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, The Rise of the Iran Lobby and co-author/editor of the Center’s Team B II study, “Shariah: The Threat to America” as well as The Tiger Team’s “The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement.” She co-authored “Gulen and the Gulenist Movement” with CSP’s Vice President for Outreach, Christopher Holton, and “See No Shariah: ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ and the Disarming of America’s First Line of Defense” with Frank Gaffney, CSP President.
Well, we’re absolutely delighted to have Clare Lopez with us tonight as the speaker. Clare has often been on the other side of this podium, so it’s especially apt that she be on this side to give us this talk this evening. I know many of you know Clare, her distinguished background, and her present occupation, which is as Vice President of Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy. Most particularly, she is the author of the monograph recently published on “Gulen and the Gulenist Movement: Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Cult and its Contributions to the Civilizational Jihad.” This book is available outside. I’m sure Clare will be happy to sign them after her talk as well as a number of other publications from the Center for Security Policy and other of your works are available.
So, I’m going to be very brief here in introducing Clare to leave her ample time while staff upstairs settles down. In addition to her work at the Center for Security Policy, Clare is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a member of the board of advisors for the Canadian McKinsey Institute. I was going to mention that she was named as a presidential campaign as a national security advisor to a certain candidate who as of last night is no longer available so I won’t. In any case, anyone could benefit from her good advice and counsel on national security. In fact, since 2013, Clare has served as a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. Formerly Vice President of the Intelligence Summit, she was a career operations officer with the CIA, a professor at the Center for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005 to 2006. Particularly dear to my heart because of my own close association with the Claremont Institute, Clare was a Lincoln Fellow there in 2011. Many accomplishments, they’re listed there on the bio online. Please join me in welcoming here to talk about Gulen and the Gulenist movement. Thank you.
Thank you so much for that wonderful introduction, Bob, and thanks for the invitation to be here on this side of the podium tonight. It’s a pleasure to be with you all. Thanks so many of you for coming out this grey, drippy night. I did want to talk about what we wrote about in this booklet. It’s a monograph size, coauthored with my college at the Center for Security Policy, Christopher Holton, who is our Vice President for State Legislative Outreach.
And we realized that there was not only a connection to what is going on to Turkey but also, by extension, what is now happening here in the United States with this movement. How many of you have heard of Fethullah Gulen? Very… well, at least half I’d say, so great, great.
I will explain as we go along. Everything I’m going to talk about in here tonight is unclassified. It’s all from open sources. Please feel free to ask questions. I’ll be sure to leave time at the end for questions too. Bob said this book and a few of the others in our Civilization Jihad Reader series are on the table back there for sale and I will be glad to follow up with you even afterwards. I have cards on the table back there with my contact info, so please feel free to take one if you’d like. Ask where I got something from.
That’s just a little bit of a visual of the things in my background that Bob mentioned. I began right after grad school with no offer letter in my hands so I went off to marines corps officer candidate school in Quantico, Virginia and you can see me there a long, long time ago. But while I was there, I received the letter that I was really waiting for and that was the one from the CIA. That was my offer letter that I really wanted. So I finished the course and went to the Captain the night before graduation and said well, if I’d gone to graduation, the oath of service would have been part of the ceremony, so I had to leave the night before and tell them I had this better offer and they paid more money and I didn’t have to wear green for the rest of my life.