The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a probe into allegations that employees of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, attempted to bribe police and hack the voicemails of American citizens killed on Sept. 11, 2001, according to a senior law enforcement official who spoke to the Associated Press.
Reached for comment by Raw Story, an FBI spokeswoman in New York confirmed the report, saying: “We are aware of the allegations and are looking into it.”
The probe will focus on whether News Corp. employees in the U.K. targeted the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack in their phone hacking schemes, which allegedly included an effort to bribe a former New York police officer.
News Corp. employees are also alleged to have bribed British police officers to help them hack high ranking U.K. officials, which would violate the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act if proven to be true.
News of the probe comes the same day British police arrested a former News Corp. executive in connection to the hacking schemes. There have been eight arrests so far.
Other targets of the company’s British newspapers allegedly included former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the royal family, celebrities, a murder victim, the families of dead soldiers and the victims of terrorist attacks, among others.
The FBI’s decision to open the probe was made after several Democratic Senators and a Republican Congressman from New York wrote letters to the bureau asking that they look into the matter.
The investigation will be run from the FBI’s New York offices, The New York Times reported, and will draw on their cyber-crimes division and investigators who specialize in white collar offenses.
Updated from an original version.