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Thursday, 14 July 2011

FBI probe underway in 9/11 victims hacking claim

The allegation that News of the World staff contacted a private investigator in the United States and sought to retrieve the private phone records of 9/11 victims surfaced in a Daily Mirror report on Monday.
News International, the British firm that owned the now defunct tabloid which allegedly hacked the phones of murder victims and bribed police officers, is a subsidiary of Murdoch's New York-based News Corporation.
US lawmakers have been calling for days for a probe into allegations that the phone records of 9/11 victims were sought, and into whether the alleged bribing of British police by a US-based company contravenes American law.
"We are aware of the allegations and we are looking into it," a spokeswoman told AFP from the FBI's offices in New York,
"For allegations into the 9/11 victims, this would be done out of New York," a legal source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the case.
"The reported allegations against News Corporation are very serious, indicate a pattern of illegal activity, and involve thousands of potential victims," the lawmakers said in a letter to Holder and Schapiro.
The phone-hacking row had rumbled on for months but exploded last week after it emerged that the paper had targeted the messages of Milly Dowler, a murdered 13-year-old girl, and of the families of the veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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