Bureau to investigate claims News of the World journalists sought to hack into phones of victims of 9/11, reports say
The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations that News of the World journalists tried to hack into the phones of victims of the 9/11 attacks in New York.
The launch of the FBI inquiry amounts to the first official inquiry within the US into News Corporation activities. The move brings the scandal within Rupert Murdoch‘s British newspaper division closer to his American home and to News Corporation’s headquarters in Manhattan.
The announcement of an FBI inquiry followed a mounting chorus from politicians and relatives of 9/11 victims calling for a review of the allegations. Peter King, the Republican chairman of the homeland security committee in the House of Representatives, on Wednesday wrote to the director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, and asked him to open an investigation into the 9/11 allegations.
In his letter, King said he represented a district of New York that lost more than 150 constituents in the terror attacks. “If these allegations are proven true, the conduct would merit felony charges, and any person found guilty should receive the harshest sanctions available under law.”
The claim that Murdoch journalists attempted to get hold of victims’ phone details was made by the Mirror newspaper, which based the story on an unnamed former New York police officer working as a private detective, who was said to have been approached by News of the World reporters asking him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.
The detective was reported to have declined to take up the commission.
It is unclear at this early stage in the investigation whether there is any substance to the Mirror’s allegations. But relatives of 9/11 victims expressed delight and relief that the FBI had stepped in to clear up the issue.
- Rupert Murdoch and the 9/11 Victims (swampland.time.com)
- FBI Opens Investigation Into News Corporation Hacking Scandal (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Peter King Seeks FBI Investigation Of News Corporation 9/11 Hack Report (huffingtonpost.com)
- FBI must investigate alleged wiretapping of 9/11 victims (thehill.com)
- FBI ‘to open 9/11 hack inquiry’ (bbc.co.uk)
- News of the World Hacking Scandal: Are the 9/11 Rumors Credible? (swampland.time.com)
- News Corp. Hires Top Criminal Defense Lawyer (dealbook.nytimes.com)