The ad hoc networks are vulnerable to attacks due to distributed nature and lack of infrastructure. Intrusion detection systems (IDS) provide audit and monitoring capabilities that offer the local security to a node and help to perceive the specific trust level of other nodes. The clustering protocols can be taken as an additional advantage in these processing constrained networks to collaboratively detect intrusions with less power usage and minimal overhead. Existing clustering protocols are not suitable for intrusion detection purposes, because they are linked with the routes. The route establishment and route renewal affects the clusters and as a consequence, the processing and traffic overhead increases due to instability of clusters. The ad hoc networks are battery and power constraint, and therefore a trusted monitoring node should be available to detect and respond against intrusions in time. This can be achieved only if the clusters are stable for a long period of time. If the clusters are regularly changed due to routes, the intrusion detection will not prove to be effective. Therefore, a generalized clustering algorithm has been proposed that can run on top of any routing protocol and can monitor the intrusions constantly irrespective of the routes. The proposed simplified clustering scheme has been used to detect intrusions, resulting in high detection rates and low processing and memory overhead irrespective of the routes, connections, traffic types and mobility of nodes in the network. Clustering is also useful to detect intrusions collaboratively since an individual node can neither detect the malicious node alone nor it can take action against that node on its own.