MIAMI — Three men spewed anti-American sentiments in a strip club and talked of impending bloodshed the night before the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a Daytona Beach bar manager interviewed by the FBI said Thursday.
"They were talking about what a bad place America is. They said ‘Wait till tomorrow. America is going to see bloodshed,’ " said John Kap, manager of the Pink Pony and Red Eyed Jack’s Sports Bar. Kap said they made the claims to a bartender and a patron.
Federal agents were investigating on several fronts in Florida on Thursday after searching homes and rental car documents and poring over flight school student records across the state.
Kap said he told FBI investigators the men in his bar spent $200 to $300 apiece on lap dances and drinks, paying with credit cards. Kap said he gave the FBI credit card receipts, photocopied driver’s licenses, a business card left by one man and a copy of the Koran that was left at the bar.
The FBI asked him not to reveal the men’s names publicly, Kap said. He said they lived in three central Florida communities between Daytona Beach and Orlando.
While investigators pieced together evidence, two former Florida flight school students were identified by German authorities as terrorists aboard the two planes that smashed into the World Trade Center.
Hamburg investigators said Mohamed Atta, 33, and Marwan Alshehhi, 23, had studied at the Technical University in Hamburg and were from the United Arab Emirates. Both men received pilot training at Huffman Aviation, a flight school in Venice, Fla., where FBI investigators are examining student records.
FBI investigators learned that Atta and Alshehhi also took two three-hour courses at SimCenter Inc. in Opa-locka, said Brian George, son of flight school owner Henry George.
"We were completely stunned and shocked," Brian George said Thursday. "My father said that if he didn’t have a family to support he would stop teaching tomorrow. To think that someone would take what he taught them and turn it into a weapon."
Both men trained on a Boeing 727 full-motion simulator, he said.
FBI agents were also interviewing three Saudi flight engineers who are taking classes at Flight Safety Academy, company spokesman Roger Ritchie said Thursday. He declined to identify the students.
The school does not have simulators for Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft such as the ones involved in Tuesday’s attacks, Ritchie said.
Thomas Quinn, a New York-based spokesman for Saudi Arabian Airlines, said many of the airline’s pilots came to the United States for flight training. Foreign students must be sponsored by an airline to attend Flight Safety.
FBI agents also sought information on a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, The News-Journal of Daytona Beach reported.
Citing two unidentified law enforcement sources, the newspaper reported that Waleed Al Shehri, 25, was listed as a passenger on the American Airlines flight that left Boston and crashed into the World Trade Center.
Al Shehri graduated from Embry-Riddle in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science, the university’s commercial pilot training degree, and is listed as having a commercial pilot’s license.
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