Al Jazeera hit by Syrian hackers

Qatar-based satellite news network Al Jazeera has been hit by hackers loyal to the Syrian government.

According to ReutersAl Jazeera, which gets a lot of stick in the US press for being “pro-Islamic” and not writing nice stuff about US invasions, has also been getting it in the neck from Syria. In Syria the station has been reporting the civil war while many Western hacks are a bit scared to leave their hotels.

The hackers cracked into Al Jazeera’s website because they claimed that the channel was supporting “armed terrorist groups and spreading lies and fabricated news”.  Curiously that is exactly what the US government also claimed, and they can’t both be right.

A Syrian flag and statement denouncing Al Jazeera’s “positions against the Syrian people and government” were posted on the Arabic site of the channel.

President Bashar al-Assad has a lot of reasons not to like Al Jazeera. Not only did it take the lead in covering the uprisings, Qatar is a Sunni-led state and backed the predominantly Sunni rebel movement in Syria against Assad’s Alawite-led government. More than 74 percent of Syria is Sunni.

The hacking attack was carried out by a group calling itself “al-Rashedon”. Similar Syrian groups have carried out hacks on other news sites who have been reporting the uprising.

The blogging platform of the Reuters News website was also hacked last month with a false posting saying Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal had died. Saudi Arabia is another opponent of Assad.