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FBI looking into claims of 9/11 phone-hacking at News Corp.

Rupert Murdoch protest

Rupert Murdoch protest Photo Credit: Timothy A. Clary

The scandal embroiling Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in England has officially jumped the pond, with the FBI now investigating whether journalists working for his scandal-shuttered tabloid News of the World tried to tap phone records of 9/11 victims.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) called for the investigation after Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper first reported the possible hacking on Monday.

"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 tried to pay a city cop to retrieve the private phone records of the victims.

The 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 up to the attacks.

“If these allegations are proven true, the conduct would merit felony charges,” King wrote.

The FBI probe comes as Murdoch, 80, and his son and heir-apparent, James Murdoch, reversed their position and agreed to appear before British Parliament to answer questions about hacking scandal.

Still, Murdoch said he thinks the scandal will blow over. In an interview Thursday with The Wall Street Journal, which he owns, Murdoch said his company has handled the crisis "extremely well in every way possible," making just "minor mistakes.

(with Reuters)

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