The man behind anti-Islamic film has been arrested
THE US man behind a crudely produced anti-Islamic video posted to YouTube that has inflamed Muslims worldwide has been arrested for violating terms of his probation.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was convicted in 2010 for federal bank fraud charges and sentenced to 21 months in prison.
Under terms of his probation, he was not allowed to use computers or the internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.
Nakoula was arrested on Thursday after federal probation officials determined he violated the terms of his supervised release, said Thomas Mrozek US Attorney’s spokesman in Los Angeles.
A US District Court hearing was scheduled for Nakoula on Thursday afternoon. It was closed to media and the public.
Protests have erupted around the world over a 14-minute trailer for Innocence of Muslims, which depicts Mohammed as a womaniser and religious fraud.
Though the trailer was posted to YouTube in July, the violence didn’t break out until September 11 and has spread since, killing dozens.
Nakoula, a Christian originally from Egypt, went into hiding after he was identified as the man behind the trailer.
The full story about Nakoula and the video still isn’t known.
The movie was made last year by a man who called himself Sam Bacile.
After the violence erupted, a man who identified himself as Bacile called media outlets including The Associated Press, took credit for the film and said it was meant to portray the truth about Mohammed and Islam, which he called a cancer.
The next day, the AP determined there was no Bacile and linked the identity to Nakoula, a former petrol station owner with a drug conviction and a history of using aliases.
Federal authorities later confirmed there was no Bacile and that Nakoula was behind the movie.
Before going into hiding, Nakoula acknowledged to the AP he was involved with the film, but said he only worked on logistics and management.
A film permit listed Media for Christ, a Los Angeles-area charity run by other Egyptian Christians, as the production company.
The trailer still can be found on YouTube.
The Obama administration asked Google, YouTube’s parent company, to take down the video but it refused, saying it did not violate its content standards.
Meantime, a number of actors and workers on the film have come forward to say they were duped.
They say they were hired for a film titled Desert Warrior, and there was no mention of Islam or Mohammed in the script, and those references were dubbed in after filming was completed.