Rupert Murdoch's Fox News television channel had a "black ops" department that may have illegally hacked private telephone records, a former executive for the station has alleged.
Dan Cooper, who helped launch Fox News as managing editor in 1996, said that a so-called "brain room" carried out "counter-intelligence" on the channel's enemies from its New York HQ, and that he was threatened after it found he had spoken to a reporter.
The channel, which has come under pressure amid allegations that outlets owned by Mr Murdoch may have attempted to hack the voicemail messages of 9/11 victims, firmly denies all the allegations.
The quote was not going to be attributed to him, but he alleges that before the article was published, his agent received a telephone call from Mr Ailes threatening to withdraw Fox's business from all his clients.
Mr Cooper said he was "willing to consider the possibility" that Mr Brock named him, but added: "I assume he operates under journalistic ethics and protected a confidential source. Brock told me at the time that Ailes told him he would never work again if he wrote the article."
A Fox News spokesman said: "Dan Cooper has peddled these lies for the past 15 years." (© Daily Telegraph, London)