The California man behind the anti-Islamic, poorly made video Innocence of Muslims which has fueled massive protests and outrage in the Middle East has been arrested on investigation of violating the terms of his probation, a federal official confirmed to EW on Thursday.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was set to appear in U.S. District Court on Thursday afternoon, said Thom Mrozek, a United States Attorney’s Office spokesman in Los Angeles.
“Mr. Nakoula was arrested pursuant to allegations made by the United States Probation Office that he has violated the terms of his supervised release,” Mrozek said.
Controversy and mystery have swirled around Nakoula, who has been identified as the man behind a 14-minute trailer posted to YouTube for Innocence of Muslims, which depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a pedophile and womanizer. Nakoula is a Coptic Christian based in Southern California.
Multiple actors and actresses in the low budget film have spoken out against it, including actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who has sued Nakoula, YouTube and its owner Google to get the trailer removed, saying she was duped, and that the original script did not mention Muhammad.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Mrozek told EW that the U.S. District Court judge, during Nakoula’s hearing Thursday, had ordered Nakoula detained without bond. “The judge in the case will schedule a hearing to consider the allegations and determine if he violated the terms of his release,” said Mrozek. Nakoula was placed on probation for a bank fraud conviction in 2010. He has since allegedly used various aliases.
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