Families of 7/7 Bombing Victims Had Phones Hacked by Murdoch PaperS

Murdered teenager Milly Dowler wasn't the only person whose voicemail was hacked by the unscrupulous folks at News Corp paper News of the World—it now appears that the families of victims of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London were "targets" as well.

Police working on the "Operating Weeting" investigation into the News of the World phone hacking have apparently been contacting 7/7 families "to warn them they were targeted by the paper." (Such good timing, too, with the sixth anniversary coming up later this week.)

It doesn't stop there, either: The parents of murdered girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were also victims of the hacking, based on documents found in the home of the News of the World's private investigator, who has since been jailed for his part in the hacking.

And as the scandal widens, so too does the roll of people implicated: The News was apparently paying off senior police officers between 2003 and 2007 under the editorship of Andy Coulson (pictured back, left)—who later was appointed director of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron. (Coulson resigned in January.)

Meanwhile, Coulson's predecessor Rebekah Brooks (pictured back, right), now the chief of News International, the News Corp vehicle that owns News of the World, claims to have been unaware of the phone hacking that took place while she was the paper's editor—though former News journalist Paul McMullan says that "of course" Brooks was aware. Jack Shafer, writing in Slate, thinks that News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch (pictured front, right) may himself become a casualty:

I can't think of any jam that Murdoch has gotten into that's tighter than this one. As long as the victims of the phone-hacking were rich people and big shots, Murdoch didn't have to worry too much about public opinion dragging him and his newspapers down. But Dowler's parents are neither rich nor big shots.

[...]

Murdoch's instinct, of course, will be to sacrifice Brooks, but I doubt that the mob that is gathering will be satisfied with one body. They'll want strong, tough, old meat, too. Something that's fit for grilling on the barbie.

[Guardian, Slate; image via Getty]