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9/11 Families Meeting With Eric Holder In Washington About Murdoch Phone Hacking Allegations

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Rupert Murdoch, gives evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee  on the News of the World phone-hacking scandal in this image taken from TV in Portcullis House  in central London Tuesday July 19 2011. (AP Photo/ PA)

Rupert Murdoch, gives evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on the News of the World phone-hacking scandal in this image taken from TV in Portcullis House in central London Tuesday July 19 2011. (AP Photo/ PA)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Families of 9/11 victims are heading to Washington to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder about allegations surrounding Britain’s phone hacking scandal.

The families are meeting with Holder about the FBI inquiry into the allegations that Rupert Murdoch’s media empire may have tried to hack into the phones of 9/11 victims.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

The claim comes from an article published in The Daily Mirror, a London tabloid and rival paper to Murdoch’s The Sun.

In the article, an unidentified former NYPD officer turned private investigator, said he was contacted by News of the World journalists who offered to pay him to retrieve private phone records of Sept. 11 victims.

“We are going to the meeting with the attorney general to listen to what he can tell us about the investigation and to ascertain the scope, the goals and timetable of the inquiry,” said Norman Siegel, an attorney who has represented some of the families for eight years.

New York-based News Corp. has said “we have not seen any evidence to suggest there was any hacking of 9/11 victims’ phones, nor has anybody corroborated what are clearly very serious allegations.”

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller On The Story

Retired New York Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches was among family members from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut taking a train from Manhattan to Washington on Wednesday to attend the meeting with Holder.

Riches said federal investigators “have permission to investigate my cell lines, my family’s, whatever they need.”

His son Jimmy Riches, who was also a firefighter, was killed on 9/11.

“We just want some information, whether these allegations are actually true or not true,” said Riches. “We feel we deserve to know.”

Riches said about six months after his son’s body was found, the family received calls telling them that more remains had been located.

“I received many phone calls after 9/11 concerning body parts of my son,” said Riches. “These are things that people don’t realize 9/11 families had to go through and I’d hate to know that someone was listening to these phone calls.”

The FBI began its investigation in July after Long Island Rep. Peter King demanded action.

“I want them to investigate and investigate fully. I have a lot of 9/11 families in my district. They’re entitled to know if their privacy was violated,” King said.

Siegel said Wednesday that 9/11 families want to cooperate with the FBI and Justice Department.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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