Man Behind Anti-Islam Film Arrested

The California man behind a crudely produced anti-Islamic video that has inflamed parts of the Middle East was arrested Thursday for violating terms of his probation, authorities said.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, has been on probation for a 2010 federal check fraud conviction that brought a 21-month prison sentence. Under terms of his probation, he was not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

Nakoula was taken into custody Thursday, said U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Thomas Mrozek.

A U.S. District Court hearing was scheduled for Nakoula on Thursday afternoon. It was closed to media and the public.

Protests have erupted around the Middle East over a 14-minute trailer for the film “Innocence of Muslims” that depicts Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer, religious fraud and child molester. Though the trailer was posted to YouTube in July, the violence didn’t break out until Sept. 11 and has spread since.

The California man behind a crudely produced anti-Islamic video that has inflamed parts of the Middle East was arrested Thursday for violating terms of his probation, authorities said.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, has been on probation for a 2010 federal check fraud conviction that brought a 21-month prison sentence. Under terms of his probation, he was not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

Nakoula was taken into custody Thursday, said U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Thomas Mrozek.

A U.S. District Court hearing was scheduled for Nakoula on Thursday afternoon. It was closed to media and the public.

Protests have erupted around the Middle East over a 14-minute trailer for the film “Innocence of Muslims” that depicts Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer, religious fraud and child molester. Though the trailer was posted to YouTube in July, the violence didn’t break out until Sept. 11 and has spread since.

The full story about Nakoula and the film 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 Muhammad 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 gas 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. Most of the film was made at the charity’s headquarters. Steve Klein, an insurance agent in Hemet and outspoken Muslim critic, has said he was a consultant and promoter for the film.

The trailer still can be found on YouTube. The Obama administration asked Google, YouTube’s parent, to take down the video but the company has 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 Muhammad in the script. Those references were dubbed in after filming was completed.

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia has sued to get the trailer taken down, saying she was duped.

ABC

  • 5thDrawer

    Could be a fine for breaking parole … maybe a bit of time in jail. Got him on a ‘technicality’.

  • 5thDrawer

    Could be a fine for breaking parole … maybe a bit of time in jail. Got him on a ‘technicality’.

  • nagy_michael2

    The other day I was watching Al Jadeed TV with Tony presenting the show on the Anti-Islam Movie. Some guy name Mustapha who is a muslim and happen to know this guy Nakoulla.. He said this guy is so basic and pretty naive. He was basically defending him because he said he didn’t even know what was he doing. The movie i thought also mocks christs/christians. Even the actors/actresses claim not knowing the contents. now if they have spoken based on a script then the script was changed.. then this was all a setup. Two parties are benefitting from the Anti-Islam Movie. Israel which will show the world how brutal the muslim world can be. Another party which include Iran, Syria, hezbollah where they can distract the west from Iran Nuclear weapons and Syria. Most of all to send a message to the world ‘don’t mess with us or you will see worse’..I know some of you are thinking this is a wild accusations.. but why Iran kept insisting on showing the movie while others ignored it? This guy Nakoulla has done nothing but stupid stuff after another. he’s not qualified to do anything. not defending him but there were bigger things behind this movie and the goal has been reached for sure and its rating skyrocketed..Look now how many western countries are hesistant to help the rebels in Syria now.. all of fear of muslims brotherhood. Even i saw a rebel in Syria holding signs ‘ No to Muslim brotherhood.’ As if Waliet Al Faqih creators and their followers are different from salfists. we have them everywhere in Lebanon hiding under the cover of co-existance. if you call co-existance between Aoun and hezbollah based on bribery and who pays more to him.. Nassrallah said 20 years ago that the christians in Lebanon are invaders and he will drive them out.. nothing will change and he will either submit them to his will or bribe them to death.

  • nagy_michael2

    The other day I was watching Al Jadeed TV with Tony presenting the show on the Anti-Islam Movie. Some guy name Mustapha who is a muslim and happen to know this guy Nakoulla.. He said this guy is so basic and pretty naive. He was basically defending him because he said he didn’t even know what was he doing. The movie i thought also mocks christs/christians. Even the actors/actresses claim not knowing the contents. now if they have spoken based on a script then the script was changed.. then this was all a setup. Two parties are benefitting from the Anti-Islam Movie. Israel which will show the world how brutal the muslim world can be. Another party which include Iran, Syria, hezbollah where they can distract the west from Iran Nuclear weapons and Syria. Most of all to send a message to the world ‘don’t mess with us or you will see worse’..I know some of you are thinking this is a wild accusations.. but why Iran kept insisting on showing the movie while others ignored it? This guy Nakoulla has done nothing but stupid stuff after another. he’s not qualified to do anything. not defending him but there were bigger things behind this movie and the goal has been reached for sure and its rating skyrocketed..Look now how many western countries are hesistant to help the rebels in Syria now.. all of fear of muslims brotherhood. Even i saw a rebel in Syria holding signs ‘ No to Muslim brotherhood.’ As if Waliet Al Faqih creators and their followers are different from salfists. we have them everywhere in Lebanon hiding under the cover of co-existance. if you call co-existance between Aoun and hezbollah based on bribery and who pays more to him.. Nassrallah said 20 years ago that the christians in Lebanon are invaders and he will drive them out.. nothing will change and he will either submit them to his will or bribe them to death.