FBI sets its sights on News Corp.

Rupert Murdoch Chairman of News Corporation leave from his London residence shortly after his arrival in Britain on July 10.
MAX NASH/GETTY IMAGES

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will investigate allegations that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. tried to hack into the phone records of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, the agency said on Thursday.

“We’re looking into allegations raised by the letter by Peter King yesterday,” said an FBI source, asking not to be identified.

News Corp declined to comment on the FBI probe.

The Daily Mirror reported that News of the World journalists offered to pay a New York police officer to retrieve the private phone records of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Daily Mirror, citing an unidentified source, said journalists wanted the phone numbers of the dead as well as details of the calls they made and received in the days leading to the attacks.

Murdoch last week shut down the News of the World, Britain’s top-selling Sunday tabloid, on a growing firestorm over allegations grew that its journalists had illegally accessed voicemails of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of Britain’s war dead.

Murdochs in hot seat

Rupert Murdoch on Thursday caved to pressure from Britain’s parliament to answer questions over alleged crimes at one of his newspapers, setting up a showdown with lawmakers keen to break the media mogul’s grip on politics. Murdoch, 80, and his son James, initially said they would not face questions and then reversed their decision after Prime Minister David Cameron said they should attend.


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