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In the Media

article imageProducer of anti-Islam film arrested & held without bail

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By Layne Weiss
Sep 27, 2012 in World
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Los Angeles - Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man behind the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," was ordered by a judge to be held without bail in a California court Thursday. The judge chose to detain Nakoula because he is considered a flight risk.
Nakoula is being investigated for violating the terms of his probation connected to a 2010 bank fraud conviction. He was released from prison in 2011.
He was shackled and handcuffed in court Thursday, AP reports.
Nakoula is not being detained over the anti-Islam film which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a sex crazed, violent fraud, BBC News reports. In an address to the UN General Assembly, US President Barack Obama called the film "disgusting."
Nakoula is being detained because of his deceptive behavior toward the court and his probation officer, CNN reports.
A federal prosecutor argued that Nakoula had eight probation violations, The AP reports. These violations include lying to his probation officer and using aliases.
Part of Nakoula's probation also banned him from accessing the Internet or using an alias without his probation officer's permission, BBC News reports. The film "Innocence of Muslims," which he is accused of directing and producing, is another violation of his probation terms.
The film was made by a man who called himself Sam Bacile. After the violence connected to the film erupted, "Bacile" spoke to The AP, and took credit for the film and said he wanted to expose the Prophet Muhammad and Islam for what they really were, "a cancer."
The AP investigated and determined "Sam Bacile" didn't exist and they linked his identity to Nakoula.
The Obama administration requested that Google, the company that owns Youtube, remove the clip, but the request was denied. Iran chose to block Youtube and Google in protest of the video.
While the film is extremely offensive, it did not technically break any US laws, since the Constitution gives people the right to free speech. It was initially uploaded to Youtube in July, but violence did not break out over it until September 11, BBC News reports.
Four Americans including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed when militants attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11. The violence has continued and dozens have been killed, The AP reports.
Nakoula, a 55 year old Christian originally from Egypt, went into hiding after it came out that he was behind the film. He and his family hid in their home in Cerritos, California, which is about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles, CNN reports.
Nakoula's attorney Jack Whitaker refused to comment on his client's arrest and court hearing Thursday, Bloomberg reports.
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