‘Innocence of Muslims’ producer jailed for probation violation

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California.(Reuters / Bret Hartman)
The filmmaker reported to be behind the Islamophobic video that sparked anti-US protests the world over has been arrested and jailed for violating the terms of his probation.

­Federal Judge Suzanne H. Segal ruled that the California man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, should be jailed after a federal prosecutor said he had eight probation violations, including lying to his probation officers and using aliases.

"The court has a lack of trust in the defendant,” Judge Segal said, ordering Nakoula to be handcuffed and shackled in court.

He “has every incentive to disappear,” Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale added, noting that the filmmaker has a “lengthy pattern of deception.”

Nakoula, was arrested earlier in the day and brought before a Los Angeles court over the probation violation. The US District Court hearing was closed both to media and the public.

He was arrested after federal probation officials determined he violated the terms of his supervised release, and filed a request to revoke it, said Thom Mrozek of the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

Probation officers who suspected that he violated violated the terms of his parole by uploading a 14-minute trailer of the film to YouTube had opened an investigation into Nakoula's status, resulting in the arrest.

Nakoula had also been taken into custody for questioning by his probation officer earlier in the month.

In 2010, Nakoula, known under at least a dozen aliases including Sam Bacile, was found guilty of opening bank accounts using stolen identities and Social Security numbers, and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

He told a judge his real name was Mark Basseley Youssef. He said he had been using that name since 2002, even though he went by Nakoula in his fraud case.

Court documents filed in Orange County Superior Court show he was granted a name change petition in 2002 and legally changed his name to Mark Basseley Youssef

One condition of his June 2011 release was a ban from accessing the Internet or using aliases without the permission of a probation officer.