Man Behind Inflammatory Anti-Islam Film Arrested

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LOS ANGELES
(AP) — The California man behind a crudely produced anti-Islamic video
posted to YouTube that has inflamed parts of the Middle East was
arrested for violating terms of his probation, authorities said
Thursday.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was
convicted in 2010 for federal check and sentenced to 21 months in
prison. Under terms of his probation, he was not allowed to use
computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his
probation officer.

Nakoula was arrested after
federal probation officials determined he violated the terms of his
supervised release, said Thomas Mrozek U.S. Attorney's spokesman in Los
Angeles.

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
“Innocence of Muslims,” which depicts 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,
killing dozens.

Nakoula, a Christian originally from Egypt, went into hiding after he was identified as the man behind the trailer.

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 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.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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