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International Law

Does NSA hold info on mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjold? Commission asks UN to reopen probe

Posted Sep 9, 2013 8:00 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Lending some credence to conspiracy theories that have swirled for years concerning the 1961 death of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold in a Zambia plane crash, a commission of international jurists recommended on Monday that the U.N. reopen its investigation.

The Hammarskjold Commission also said the National Security Agency, under fire recently for reportedly collecting online data for years about Americans' phone calls and emails, may have key information that would be helpful in investigating the death of the Swedish-born diplomat during a peace mission for the Congo, according to the Associated Press and the BBC News.

Stephen Sedley, who chairs the commission, said in an introduction to its report that it is a "near certainty" that NSA recorded radio transmissions from the African airfield closest to where Hammarskjold's plane went down, the AP article reports.

"The only dependable extant record of the radio traffic, if there is one, will so far as we know be the NSA's," he wrote. "If it exists, it will either confirm or rebut the claim that the DC-6 was fired on or threatened with attack immediately before its descent into the forest."

Sedley also said that the commission's research has determined that at least three relevant NSA records exist, but two are classified as top-secret due to national security concerns.

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