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September 6, 2012

Al Jazeera website restored after Al-Rashedon hack

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

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Screenshot of Al Jazeera homepage after being hacked Tuesday
Image: Ryan Peteranna.

Screenshot of aljazeera.net taken today
Image: Brian McNeil.

The website of international news service Al Jazeera has been restored and is working as normal, following a hack of the website by a group identifying itself as Al-Rashedon.

Wikinews was contacted Tuesday by Al Jazeera about the incident, and referred to a statement from a spokesperson for the news service saying: “Some visitors to our websites faced disruption after external DNS servers were compromised. The company that operates them quickly resolved this, though some users may continue to experience issues for a while longer. We thank our online community for their patience and support.”

On the hacked webpage Al-Rashedon, a group apparently supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said they had performed this action “in response to [Al Jazeera’s] position against the people and government of Syria”. The Al-Rashedon statement condemned Al Jazeera for its coverage of the Syrian civil war in an Arabic language statement which the group said was “support[ive] of the armed terrorist groups and spreading false fabricated news.” Al Jazeera has yet to comment about Al-Rashedon’s allegations.

The hacked page contained the current Syrian flag displayed on the top left, a screenshot of the usual Al Jazeera homepage overlaid with a graphic resembling a rubber-stamped “HACK”, and with a silhouette of two men sitting at a desk below it. The nature, and exact purpose, of the group is unknown..

Syria’s civil war has been covered from the outset in great detail by Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, a Middle Eastern country whose government is supportive of the Syrian opposition.

Al Jazeera’s English website was previously attacked in February, by a group identifying itself as the Syrian Electronic Army [SEA]. The same group accessed Al Jazeera’s page on social networking website Twitter in July, posting messages critical of Syrian opposition members. The SEA also claimed responsibility for attacking the websites of Saudi Arabian news service Al Arabiya and Harvard in the US state of Massachusetts.

The website of Reuters, another news service, was reportedly hacked by Syrian government supporters in August.



Related news

  • “Internet hackers attack Al-Jazeera website, condemn news service’s Syrian civil war coverage” — Wikinews, September 5, 2012

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August 31, 2012

Egyptian President Morsi backs Syrian rebels in speech

Egyptian President Morsi backs Syrian rebels in speech

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Mohamed Morsi (left) pictured in June.
Image: Jonathan Rashad.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi strongly backed the Syrian rebels Thursday in a speech at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Iran. Morsi, a Sunni Muslim and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is the first Egyptian leader in 30 years to visit Iran – an ally of Syrian Prime Minister Bashar al-Assad’s Shi’ite dominated regime.

In a strongly worded speech, which caused Syrian foreign minister Walid al Muallem to walk out in protest, Morsi called the Syrian regime “oppressive”, saying that it has lost legitimacy. Delegates were told, “[t]he bloodshed in Syria is our responsibility on all our shoulders and we have to know that the bloodshed cannot stop without effective interference from all of us.”

Morsi called on delegates to “[…] announce our full solidarity with the struggle of those seeking freedom and justice in Syria, and translate this sympathy into a clear political vision that supports a peaceful transition to a democratic system of rule that reflects the demands of the Syrian people for freedom.”

For the Syrian government, foreign minister al Muallem subsequently told state media that President Morsi was interfering in Syrian domestic affairs and inciting further violence in the conflict.

Morsi’s speech was viewed by commentators as a direct rebuke to Iran and a message that they had chosen the wrong side in the Syrian conflict. The speech also allayed fears in the west that his attendance at a meeting of non-aligned countries indicated a change in Egyptian foreign policy to a less pro-Western stance.



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April 17, 2011

Syrian protests met with crackdown

Syrian protests met with crackdown – Wikinews, the free news source

Syrian protests met with crackdown

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

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President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
Image: Ricardo Stuckert/ABr.

Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets Friday in cities across the country protesting for freedom. Syria’s official news agency (SANA) reported, “scattered groups of citizens came out to the streets in several areas of the provinces after Friday prayers and chanted slogans calling for freedom without the intervention of security forces.” However, protests in Damascus reportedly turned violent as security forces were said to disperse the crowds with batons and tear gas to prevent protesters reaching the capital’s main square.

“I counted 15 mukhabarat [secret police] busloads,” a source reported to Reuters news agency. “They went into the alleyways just north of the square chasing protesters and yelling ‘you pimps, you infiltrators, you want freedom? we will give it to you’.”

Protests in Syria have intensified since mid-March after families of political prisoners held rallies in Damascus and people in Daraa protested against the arrests of more than a dozen children for anti-regime graffiti. The protests continued as Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad failed to lift the emergency law the country has operated under since his Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party came to power in 1963. The Assad government has met protests with a mixture of minor concessions and force.

After a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The Syrian government did not meet the legitimate demands of the Syrian people. It is time for the Syrian government to stop its crack down on these people and begin to meet their aspirations.” Assad met with a delegation from Dara’a yesterday. The delegation asked for a deadline for their demands to be met. Al Jazeera correspondent Rula Amin said, “It seems from the people in Daraa that the government is seriously trying to contain [the situation in] Daraa because that is where it all started. If they manage to calm the situation in Daraa, the government believes it will be able to contain the situation throughout Syria.”



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March 24, 2011

More than a dozen reported dead after Syrian protests

More than a dozen reported dead after Syrian protests

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

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More than a dozen people have been reported dead in the Syrian city of Deraa after police and security forces fired on protesters.

Three separate incidents were reported. Overnight on Wednesday, six people were killed at the Omari mosque, a location where many protests have taken place. At funerals and marches later that day, at least ten more people were killed. Several dozen people are also reported to have been injured; one witness said that “bodies fell in the streets.”

These fatalities come in addition to at least six deaths that have been previously reported since the protests began.

According to a Syrian activist exiled in the United States, Mohammed al-Abdullah, “[t]he government promised it would consider its citizen’s demands, and then it decided to attack them. These were fully prepared and full-scale attacks.”

The government defended its actions at the Omari Mosque, saying that “armed gangs” operated out of the site, and that there were weapons stored within.


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