DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Arab satellite station Al Jazeera (search) launched an English-language Web site Monday, five months after hackers brought down a temporary site at the height of the Iraq war.
Susi Sirri, news coordinator and spokeswoman, said the site aims "to fill a niche for English speakers who want to get the other side of the story, the Arab perspective."
"We are following Al Jazeera's model: opinion and counter-opinion. That is the motto of the [organization]," Sirri told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Qatar.
The English site works closely with the television station and its Arabic Web site, launched in 2001, but also has its own staff of nearly 50 Western and Arab journalists, Sirri said.
A temporary version of English.aljazeera.net went online March 24 to cover the war but was soon brought down by hackers. The Arabic site also was unavailable for long periods during the war.
The hacker, John William Racine II, 24, of Norco, Calif., pleaded guilty in June to felony charges of wire fraud and unlawful interception of an electronic communication. He had intercepted e-mail and content from Al Jazeera and rerouted users to another site showing the American flag and the phrase "Let Freedom Ring."
U.S., British and even Arab officials have criticized Al Jazeera's coverage of events in the Middle East and its airing of Al Qaeda (search) statements, accusing the station of sensationalism, bias, and incitement. Others in the region view it as a courageous addition to the Arab world's mostly state-run media.