9/11 families to meet US attorney general over phone hacking

9/11 families to meet US attorney general over phone hacking

Attorney Norman Siegel said no date has been set for the meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials from the Justice Department, which family members requested after the FBI launched an investigation into News Corp. last week.

The FBI's investigation began after the Mirror, a British tabloid reported that the company's employees or associates may have attempted to hack into phone conversations and voice mail boxes of September 11 survivors, victims and their families, CNN quoted a federal law enforcement source as saying.

The story in the Mirror cited an unnamed source who claimed the now-defunct News of the World newspaper approached a private investigator in New York to hack into 9/11 phone records, but he declined to do so.

"We're extremely pleased. We look forward to cooperating with the Justice Department and the FBI in their investigation," Siegel said.

In a letter requesting the meeting, Siegel said family members would give authorities permission to examine their phone records and look for possible evidence of hacking.

He said no family members have knowledge or evidence that their records were searched. However, he said one family has questions about an e-mail "potentially" being hacked. He provided no further details.

News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch told British lawmakers on Tuesday that he had seen "no evidence" that victims of the 9/11 attacks were victims of phone hacking by his employees, adding that he does not believe it happened.

News of the World, a 168-year-old British newspaper owned by Murdoch, folded on July 10 in the wake of accusations that its reporters illegally eavesdropped on the phone messages of murder and terrorism victims, politicians and celebrities.

Police in the United Kingdom have identified almost 4,000 potential targets of phone hacking. There also were allegations that reporters may have bribed law enforcement officers.

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