Murdoch (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
Speculation that England's phone-hacking scandal, which has engulfed Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for nearly two months, may cross the Atlantic appears to be receding.
The Wall Street Journal (which is owned by News Corp.) reports:
British police investigating the sweeping phone-hacking scandal at the company's now-closed News of the World tabloid have told the Federal Bureau of Investigation there are no names or telephone numbers of Sept. 11 victims among the evidence they have gathered to date, according to people familiar with the case.
London's Metropolitan Police Service, known as Scotland Yard, has examined voluminous phone records of what could be thousands of potential phone-hacking victims, but those records don't suggest 9/11 victims were among the targets of the hacking, according to the people familiar with the case. A Scotland Yard spokesman declined to comment.
The New York Police Department also has told the FBI it has no indication such attempted violations occurred, and the FBI's own crime-victims assistance office has said the same.
The 9/11 claim has so far only surfaced in a thinly sourced report in the Daily Mirror, a British tabloid not owned by News Corp. It nevertheless gained traction in the U.S. media on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the catastrophic terrorist attacks of 2001.
Meanwhile, there's little to suggest a firm basis for another theory of stateside hacking intrigue in Murdoch properties. Contrary to much breathless speculation, the practice phone-hacking does not appear to have extended to News Corp's American tabloid, the New York Post.
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