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Most of the research in securing mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) has focused on proposals which detect and prevent a specific kind of attack such as sleep deprivation, black hole, grey hole and rushing attacks. In this paper we broaden our previously developed algorithm AIDP and propose a generalized intrusion detection and prevention mechanism. We use a combination of anomaly-based and knowledge-based intrusion detection. This approach not only secures the MANET from a wide variety of routing attacks but also has the capability to detect new unforeseen attacks. Simulation results of a case study show that our proposed mechanism can successfully detect a variety of attacks, including multiple simultaneous different attacks, and identify and isolate the intruders with an affordable network overhead.