News / USA

    Anti-Islam Filmmaker Detained Without Bail

    This courtroom sketch shows Nakoula Basseley Nakoula talking with his attorney Steven Seiden, left, as U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal presides over the proceeding in Los Angeles, California, September 27, 2012. This courtroom sketch shows Nakoula Basseley Nakoula talking with his attorney Steven Seiden, left, as U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal presides over the proceeding in Los Angeles, California, September 27, 2012.
    x
    This courtroom sketch shows Nakoula Basseley Nakoula talking with his attorney Steven Seiden, left, as U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal presides over the proceeding in Los Angeles, California, September 27, 2012.
    This courtroom sketch shows Nakoula Basseley Nakoula talking with his attorney Steven Seiden, left, as U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal presides over the proceeding in Los Angeles, California, September 27, 2012.
    VOA News
    A U.S. federal judge has ordered the arrest and detention of the alleged filmmaker behind a crudely produced anti-Islam video that has sparked weeks of deadly protest across the Muslim world.

    Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal on Thursday ordered Nakoula Basseley Nakoula held without bail for violating the terms of his probation on a 2010 bank fraud conviction.

    In issuing her ruling, Segal said the court has a "lack of trust" in the defendant, noting Nakoula was a flight risk.

    Federal prosecutors say Nakoula, 55, committed eight violations of the terms of his release, including lying to probation officers and using aliases.

    "Innocence of Muslims" Movie
    • Excerpts of the film were posted on YouTube in English and Arabic
    • The film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a caricature
    • Reportedly financed by expatriate members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority group
    • Promoted by Florida-based Christian Pastor Terry Jones, who burned a Quran in his church
    Nakoula - allegedly the real identity behind the pseudonym Sam Bacile, the director of "Innocence of Muslims" - was briefly taken into custody earlier this month for questioning by his probation officer.

    The film depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a thuggish deviant offended many Muslims and sparked a wave of anti-American protests that have left several people dead and saw mobs burn U.S. missions, schools and businesses.

    On Friday, a court in the Russian republic of Chechnya outlawed the film, calling it "extremist" and warning it could destabilize the majority Muslim area.  The authorities in Chechnya and neighboring republics of Russia's North Caucasus region have been fighting Islamist separatists for years.

    It is not clear whether the Chechen court ruling will be enforced across the rest of Russia.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
     

    • On a road leading to the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, protesters shout slogans against the anti-Islam film made in the U.S. mocking the Prophet Muhammad, September 21, 2012.
    • Afghan university students burn a U.S. flag in the Surkhrod district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, September 19, 2012.
    • Protesters use sticks to smash the windscreen and windows of a car during an anti-America protest march in Islamabad September 20, 2012.
    • A protester covers his face in front of tear gas during clashes with riot police along a road at Kornish El Nile leading to the U.S. embassy, near Tahrir Square in Cairo, September 15, 2012.
    • Pakistani police officers stand guard as Pakistani lawyers chant slogans near the area that houses the U.S. Embassy and other foreign missions in Islamabad, Pakistan, September 19, 2012.
    • A riot policeman keeps watch during a demonstration in Kabul, September 21, 2012.
    • Kashmiri medical students protest against the anti-Islam film in Srinagar, India, September 19, 2012.
    • A Muslim man holds up a placard during a protest against the anti-Islam film in Jammu, India September 21, 2012.
    • Muslim demonstrators are seen through a flag as they shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest in Chennai, September 18, 2012.
    • Pakistani activists of the hard line Sunni party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) burn a US flag during a protest against an anti-Islam movie in Peshawar, September 18, 2012.
    • Muslim demonstrators hold a defaced poster of U.S. President Barack Obama during an anti-U.S. protest in Chennai, September 18, 2012.
    • Protesters set fire to trees in the U.S. Embassy compound in Tunis September 14, 2012. 


     

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora