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Anti-Islam Filmmaker Detained Without Bail

  • VOA News

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.
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.