Were 9/11 Relatives’ Phones Hacked Into?

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, relatives of some of those who were killed discovered that personal details that had not been told to reporters — and even personal photos — were being published in tabloids. Some began to suspect that someone was listening in on their phone messages, says the New York Times; they recount hearing clicks on their home and mobile phones and answering machines. Amid the revelations last summer about potentially widespread phone-hacking by the staff of the British tabloid the News of the World, a number of relatives of 9/11 victims approached the US Justice Department. Eight met with Attorney General Eric Holder on August 24 and asked him, as a first step in investigating whether their privacy had been violated, to see if their names or phone numbers showed up in materials that Scotland Yard had seized from Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator thought to have done most of the hacking for the NoW.

Back in July, another British newspaper, The Daily Mirror, reported that a private investigator had said that NoW staff had offered to pay him to retrieve records of 9/11 victims and their families. No other reports have emerged with such allegations and, so far, no public evidence has surfaced. Justice Department officials have said that they are “doubtful” if evidence confirming the suspicions of 9/11 relatives will emerge.

Still, if you read the accounts of 9/11 relatives described in the New York Times, you are likely to get the sense that something, and something of a quite disturbing nature, was going on. Some details:

Jack Grandcolas, whose wife, Lauren Grandcolas, was aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pa., said that one night several months after her death, his home telephone rang and he listened as the answering machine played previously recorded messages, apparently through a password-enabled command. “It was as if the phone had been accessed by someone,” he said….

Lucy Aita, whose fiancé, Paul Innella, 33, of East Brunswick, N.J., died in the World Trade Center, said she also recalls clicking sounds on her telephone for months after the attacks.

“Every time we picked up the phone, we heard a little clicking noise that was intermittent,” she said. “Then we started hearing voices of people, as if they were on a speaker phone. A few times we’d say, ‘Can you stop listening to us, please?’ Then all of the sudden, we’d hear a click and they would be gone.”

As the New York Times says, these mysterious incidents do not fit the pattern of the phone hacking recounted by those whose voice messages were hacked by NoW staff. But it is no wonder that the families of 9/11 victims who heard those clicks in the night are in search of explanations. Certainly they ought to be provided with answers to every extent possible.


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Frank Mugford
Frank Mugford6 years ago

A good reason why murdoch and his tribe and acolytes should all be in prison. Another even better reason is his connection with fox news.
And my 'phone was/is tapped on and off for years; I could sense that someone was listening without the hollowness and other interjections.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush6 years ago

There is no doubt, that Flight 93 was forced down in Shanksville, PA, by our own government. Unfortunately, it was a necessity, as the passengers were doomed, from the start. If we did not bring it down, many more people, probably, would have been killed.
The Bush Administration wanted to know if anyone on that flight, had informed anyone of the situation, _not_ on that flight. That's the actual reason for the wire taps, in the first place; otherwise, there would be no reason.
It's was a no-win situation.

Let's be honest. The families of the people, who lost their lives are very emotional about it, as is expected. If people suspected that the Bushies had ordered this explosion, they might not have been able to get our citizens support, for the war, and besides, the lawsuits would have been endless.

Dr Clue
Dr Clue6 years ago

It's hard to see the portrait of the world with our noses pressed up against the canvas, but indeed it's a well established fact that both those in business and government feel at liberty to buy and trade our information and consider any lock they can bypass an open invitation to have a look.

Be it the "right to know", or "terrorism" written in the marquee, they are considered at near mention (sincerity aside) a blank check to do whatever they darn please,

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." Is considered to be but quaint and old fashioned as well as a real annoyance to those whose desire to violate would be hampered.

I encourage everyone to take a moment and read the constitution, then compare it to the reality being inflicted upon us. It's only 4543 words and reasonably straight forward.
No law surpasses the constitution no matter what amount of propaganda tells us otherwise.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

I'm sure they have a few more questions than just the one about phone hacking. They've asked many questions and so far I don't think any of them have been answered. Why do you suppose that is???

Donald T.
Donald T6 years ago

and be sure to send a copy of all transcripts to the private office of dickless the dark lord voldemort cheney, the sneaky slimy lowly diarrheal excrement from the Ts/GOP who has others do his filthy dirty illegal crimes. It is Modus Operandi for the Rupert Turd-och; it is expected for 'his kind' of psychotic paranoia to 'need to know' what every one else is doing. And it requires his absolute sociopathic borderline personality disorder not to care about anyone else who is not him. Scary, particularly considering the power he has and can acquire with so bloody f*n much money hidden a round the world and under his mattress. He makes the yellow jouralism of old look like child's play.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago

I would not be surprised in the least. How could we know if we aren't ALL being tapped or recorded? I am no conspiracy theorist, but I am also not ignorant to the fact that the government has way more power than it should.

Dolores D.
De D6 years ago

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if their phone lines were hacked.

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

If their phones were hacked into it would come as no surprise at all, since we're constantly hearing about the media and other people and entities forcing their way into other people's private business, stealing information and using it for personal gain. It's shameful and sickening and those responsible need tobe held acountable and punished to the fullest extent.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

We are long overdue in holding the media accountable, all media.

Marianne C.
Marianne C6 years ago

Yes, now. But it wasn't then. And Rupert Murdoch has a stronghold in the US that can't be trusted as far as one might throw it.