Hollywood, FL -- Thirteen years later, focal point of 9/11 investigation is no more
After the 9/11 attack, FBI agents showed up at Shuckum's Oyster Bar located off the main downtown circle in Hollywood, Florida. The agents passed around photographs of two of the men who had been identified as among the reported hijackers of passenger planes on September 11, 2001. Night manager Tony Amos and waitress Patricia Idrissi stated that Mohammed Atta and two other men had come into the bar on the evening of September 7. The other two men were later identified by the FBI as alleged hijackers Marwan al-Shehhi and Abdulaziz al Omari. Al Shehhi drank rum and cokes and Atta pounded back five Stolichnayas and orange juice. After given their tab of $48, Atta began arguing over the bill. Amos asked him if he was able to pay and Atta, pulling from his pocket a roll of cash, said that he was an "American Airlines pilot" and was certainly able to pay. The three patrons then left with Atta leaving a $3 tip. Idriss also recounted that Atta had been playing the video arcade games of Trivial Pursuit and blackjack.
Today, many residents of Hollywood are not aware that their town was a major focal point of the 9/11 investigation.
Today, Shuckum's is closed. Moreover, employees of nearby establishments told WMR that the restaurant changed its names and staff some "10 times" over the past several years.
The last reported name of Shuckums was Harpoon Harry's. The windows and front door are blacked out with a notice on the door warning of hazardous materials contained in leased equipment inside the establishment belonging to Multi-Flow Industries of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. The firm provides soda and other fountain canisters for restaurants.
There is sitll a heavy Israeli presence in Hollywood as this repair shop for Mercedes and BMWs attests.
There was another less-reported factor in the story of the alleged hijackers' stay in Hollywood. In the months preceding 9/11, the Drug Enforcement Administration began compiling a dossier on the activities of at least 120 Israeli "art students" who had attempted to gain access to various federal buildings and the homes of federal employees and officials around the country. The art students claimed to be selling Israeli art to finance their educations in Israel. However, one of the art colleges some of the Israelis said they attended did not exist and the other had no record of their enrollment. WMR covered this story extensively in a 2005 special report.
Shuckums [left], a hangout for three of the alleged hijackers, including "lead hijacker" Mohammed Atta, is now closed after changing names several times since 9/11. An ominous warning sign cautions that there are hazardous materials in leased equipment inside the closed restaurant. [right]
One of the Israelis, Hanan Serfaty, lived at 701 S. 21st St. in Hollywood, around the corner from Shuckums. He also lived at the Emerald Greens Apartments at 4220 Sheridan Street, Apartment 303, practically across the street from Mailbox Rentals, where Omari and Al Shehhi, as well as two other hijackers, Khalid al Midhar and Walid al Shehri, maintained a mail drop. Serfaty's residences were close to where Atta and Al Shehhi lived on Jackson Street. Atta and Al Shehhi also lived a few blocks from the downtown area at Apartment 8, Bimini Motel, on North Ocean Drive along Hollywood beach.
Apartment where Israeli suspect Serfaty lived close to mail drop rented by Atta and his team.