Interview with Susan Fenger, Colorado Dept of Labor & Employment Criminal Investigator

Susan Fenger was instrumental in making the case against Jamaat ul-Fuqra as the Chief Criminal Investigator of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, resulting in the raid on the Fuqra terrorist training camp in 1992. She subsequently learned that Sheikh Gilani had put out a hit on her for $50,000, forcing her to move and change her identity.

The following is her interview with Ryan Mauro, founder of and Director of Clarion Intelligence Network:

Mauro: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where your story begins with Fuqra?


Fenger: My name was Susan Marie Fenger. I hold an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and 16 in-service law enforcement training certificates in complex crimes investigation. After attending the United States Secret Service School, I also became a court-qualified forensic documents examiner, working 27 years in that field.

I worked as a criminal investigator and forensic document examiner for the State of Colorado for 21 years; my last 11 of those 21 years as Chief of Criminal Investigations. I have conducted criminal investigations for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Colorado Department of Revenue, the Colorado Department of Social Services, the Colorado Department of Wildfire, the Colorado Department of Corrections and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. I received the Colorado Citizen’s Award from Governor Roy Romer in 1994. I retired in 1997.

In 1993, during the criminal trial of five Fuqra members in Colorado Springs, Colorado, an FBI Agent advised me that Fuqra leader Sheikh Gilani, who referred to me as “the FBI woman,” probably because I was named as part of the FBI Terrorism Task Force, had put a $50,000 contract on my head. The alleged contract was because Gilani was angry that I had cost him many thousands of dollars in bail bond money to get his followers out of jail (awaiting trial in the above-referenced case). Based upon unrelated evidence I had uncovered concerning Fuqra operations, I have taken this threat seriously.

What I am about to disclose is now public record. After 20 years, the following is to the best of my recollection.


Mauro: Tell us about the shutting down of the camp in Colorado. Were the criminal and terrorist activities you discovered representative of Gilani and Fuqra as a whole?


Fenger: In October 1992, I along with approximately 64 other law enforcement officers (from many different jurisdictions in Colorado and the federal government) raided one of Gilani’s terrorist training compounds located within 101 acres on Trout Creek Pass, near Buena Vista, Colorado. This raid took place in order to execute a 50+ page search warrant that I had authored, subsequent to my two-year investigation into the Fuqra. This same search warrant was simultaneously executed by other law enforcement officers at sites in Colorado Springs and in Pennsylvania.

As an aside, the State of Colorado did NOT seize the Trout Creek Pass property (as it had the legal right to do), since Colorado would have been responsible to bring the land in compliance with federal environmental regulations at tremendous cost to the taxpayer. Since the Fuqra members were no longer making monthly payments on the land to the bank, it went into receivership and was then obtained by the original owners.

After securing and analyzing the fruits of this search warrant, evidence, used to convict members of the Colorado Fuqra, revealed the following:

  1. Letters written by prospective members to Gilani requesting membership in the Fuqra. These letters also contained a listing of the number and type of weapons the prospective members would be bringing to Fuqra, as well as defining the prospective members’ special expertise in combat;
  2. Completed and signed “Jamaat Al-Fuqra Membership” forms stating, among other things, that 10% (15% on later dated membership forms) of all money obtained by Fuqra members from any source (including government welfare programs) would be paid directly to Sheikh Gilani;
  3. Assorted firearms, rifles and 5,000 rounds of Chinese-manufactured ammunition;
  4. Books authored by Sheikh Gilani, Fuqra magazines (titled “Soldiers of Allah”), as well as books and manuals on training for military operations;
  5. Photographs and videos of Sheikh Gilani traveling around the United States to visit the various compounds Gilani had established. One of these videos showed Gilani in full military garb surrounded by his followers, addressing the viewer about the Fuqra paramilitary training that was then provided in Pakistan for members. In this same video, Gilani makes reference to the Fuqra, Jamaat Al-Fuqra, Muslims of America and other related groups allegedly established by Gilani.
  6. Stolen rental property, including smaller excavation equipment;
  7. Long-range radio with frequencies set for Lahore, Pakistan;
  8. A document entitled “Incogs” that provided instructions on how to conduct oneself while working in an undercover capacity, etc.


Mauro: Gilani and his followers deny that Jamaat ul-Fuqra even exists. Was Jamaat ul-Fuqra their formal name? Where did it come from and when did it change?


Fenger: Jamaat Al-Fuqra was one of the names used for this terrorist organization established by Gilani and used by the Fuqra during the 80s and early 90s. I have no knowledge of how this name originated or of its use having been discontinued. This name has appeared in Fuqra documents, magazine publications, in books and on videos, which at one time, I had in my custody. The Fuqra also used the names Muslims of the Americas, Soldiers of Allah and Muhammad Commandos.


Mauro: What kind of links did you find between the Colorado operation and the camps around the country and Pakistan?


Fenger: Gilani and his appointed leaders were the main links between the various compounds. At the beginning of my investigation, I learned from FBI records that there were, at one time, 32 suspected Fuqra compounds in the U.S.

While developing the money laundering aspect of my case against Fuqra members, I was able to trace funds obtained from illegal sources (such as falsified and fraudulent workers compensation claims) to the New York compound, where the main financial accounting took place and from there to Pakistan into Gilani’s hands.

Everything in the U.S. Fuqra compounds occurred not only with the knowledge of Gilani, but at his direction, as well. I was able to chart just how the chain of command occurred. I am quite sure some of the women and children did not know the full scope of illegal Fuqra activities.


Mauro: Were the camps involved in guerilla/terrorist training?


Fenger: Throughout my investigation, I obtained evidence of paramilitary training taking place in the U.S. at various Fuqra compounds and in Pakistan. This evidence was in the form of military training manuals, weaponry, training films, actual targets with bullet holes and “hate slogans,” Fuqra memorandums, documents on how to live incognito, etc.

Evidence in the form of a film, titled “Soldiers of Allah,” revealed that Gilani arranged and provided military-style training to a number of his followers. Gilani also published a magazine titled “The Islamic Chronicle” that referred to this same type of training.

To my knowledge and at the time of my investigation, it was then Fuqra’s “modus operandi” not to carry out their terrorist operation near where they resided or where their camps were located. In fact, their planning went on in one location, their training in another and their criminal activities in still another location.

I have no knowledge of Fuqra’s recent activities or whether or not they still engaged in terrorist activities. I can state, however, that evidence in my custody at one time, revealed that much of their terrorist activity planning, such as murders, took place many years before those activities were actually carried out.


Mauro: Why did the FBI interfere with the Colorado State investigation? Did they give any reasoning?


Fenger: In June 1991, the Denver FBI officials and I met with then-Colorado Governor Roy Romer. At that meeting, the FBI advised the Governor that “Washington D.C.” was pulling them out of the Fuqra investigation.

At the Governor’s request, I continued the investigation on my own, several months later teaming up with the Colorado Attorney General’s investigators to help me execute numerous search warrants for bank records. I continued to spearhead the investigation.

Fuqra evidence, which came from the Astrozon storage locker [raided in 1989], was still held in the FBI’s custody. The FBI only gave me limited access to this evidence until a year later, when I finally obtained all of it. After turning over all the Astrozon storage locker material, the FBI re-joined our team for the raid in October 1992.

Subsequent to that event, the CIA requested me to meet with them in Washington D.C. to give them an update on my investigation. It was then that the FBI tried to prevent me from going. They contacted my boss, the Associate Director and my Department Director, in order to stop me from cooperating with the CIA. I have no idea why! Both of my directions continued to support me in cooperating with the CIA, which I did.



in First-Hand Testimony