28 September 2012 , By AP
In this image from video provided by CBS2-KCAL9, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula,
the man behind the anti-Islamic movie, is escorted by Los Angeles County
sheriff’s deputies from his home, early Saturday, in Cerritos, Calif.
A federal judge on Thursday ordered a California man behind a crudely
produced anti-Islamic video that inflamed parts of the Middle East to be
detained because he is a flight risk.
U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said Nakoula
Basseley Nakoula should be held after officials said he violated his
probation term for a 2010 cheque fraud conviction.
A federal prosecutor said Nakoula had eight probation violations, including
lying to his probation officers and using aliases.
After his 2010 conviction, Nakoula was sentenced to 21 months in prison and
was barred from using computers or the Internet for five years without
approval from his probation officer.
A 14—minute trailer for the film “Innocence of Muslims” was posted on
YouTube in July, leading to protests around the Middle East. The trailer
depicts Muhammad as a womanizer, religious fraud and child molester.
The violence broke out Sept. 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.
In court Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale said Nakoula was
flight risk based on a “lengthy pattern of deception.”
“He has every incentive to disappear,” Dugdale said.
Nakoula, 55, was handcuffed and shackled in court.
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 Muhammad and Islam, which he called
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.
Meanwhile, a number of actors and workers on the film have come forward to
say they were tricked. 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
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