Innocence of Muslims filmmaker and financier Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has been arrested and could face some jail time. Now, before you cry “freedom of speech foul!” he’s actually in trouble for violating probation from a previous conviction, but we’ll get to that in a moment. What’s important here is that the man-of-many-names gave yet another alias in court yesterday.
One of the main reasons that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula got arrested is because he keeps using false names and aliases, a direct violation of his probation from a 2010 arrest. The full story of the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims is still unknown even though more than two weeks have passed since several Middle East protests broke out (in part) over the film, claiming dozens of lives. Much of what is still not known surrounds Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. What was his actual role in the production of the film? Did he act alone in his ambitions? Oh, and what’s his real name, anyway?
He initially confirmed his involvement in the film under the name “Sam Bacile,” telling the AP that Innocence of Muslims is meant to portray the truth about Islam, calling the religion a “cancer.” After being outed as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, he back-tracked on his role in the film, stressing that he was involved purely in logistics and management.
He changed it up yet again in court yesterday, answering the judge’s prompt for his real name with “Mark Basseley Youseff,” causing US Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal to pretty much throw her hands up in frustration, stick Nakoula behind bars without bond, and put in an order for another judge to determine whether or not he violated his probation.
“The court has a lack of trust in this defendant at this time,” Segal said.
After his 2010 conviction, Nakoula was sentenced to 21 months in prison and was banned from using computers or the internet for five years without approval. He also wasn’t supposed to use any aliases. Nakoula has had a total of eight probation violations, including lying to his probation officers and using aliases. He has used the names Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Sam Bacile, Mark Basseley Youseff, and the curious Kritbag Difrat, notes the LA Times.
I have a hard time blaming the guy for using aliases in an attempt to shield his identity. Nakoula has no one on his side, and a Pakistani cabinet minister has offered a $100,000 bounty to anyone who kills him. Of course, he never should have made Innocence of Muslims, but it’s interesting to see him doing damage control in an attempt to avoid consequences he had to expect.
What do you think Nakoula Basseley Nakoula’s real name is?