Anti-Islamic Filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula Arrested In California
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the California man behind the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims, has been arrested on Thursday for violating the terms of his probation, authorities reported.
Nakoula, 55, has been on probation for a 2010 federal check fraud conviction, which brought him a 21-month prison sentence, reports The Associated Press.
Under the terms of his probation, Nakoula was not allowed to use computers or get on the internet for five years without the approval of his probation officer.
US Attorney’s spokesman Thomas Mrozek announced the Egyptian-born filmmaker’s arrest on Thursday, and a US District Court hearing has been scheduled for him on Thursday afternoon but was closed to the media and the public.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula’s anti-Islamic video Innocence of Muslims has sparked protests in Muslim countries around the world after a 14-minute trailer for the film was released on YouTube. The film is controversial because the Prophet Muhammad was depicted as a womanizer, religious fraud, and child molester.
The Huffington Post notes that the protests have caused the deaths of more than 50 people including four Americans at the US Consulate in Libya. Nakoula is a Coptic Christian from Egypt, who went into hiding after he was identified as the producer of the anti-Islamic film.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula operated under the pseudonym Sam Bacile and contacted media outlets after the violence erupted on September 11, taking credit for the film. He also said that it was meant to portray the truth about Muhammad and Islam, which he believes is a cancer.
The AP determined the next day that Bacile did not exist, linking the identity to Nakoula, who has a history of using aliases. Federal authorities also confirmed that Bacile did not exist but that Nakoula was really behind the movie. Before he went into hiding, Nakoula admitted he was involved but did not say he produced it.