(JTA) — An Egyptian Christian man who police say is one of the key figures behind the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" was arrested.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was arrested Sept. 27 in Los Angeles for violating his probation in a 2010 check-kiting case. He was charged with eight probation violations, including lying to police when he was detained for questioning, according to The New York Times. He was ordered held without bail during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles after being called a flight risk. A probation-revocation hearing reportedly will be scheduled.
Nakoula, who is believed to have uploaded the 14-minute movie trailer, translated into Arabic, to YouTube, is not allowed to use the Internet without permission from his probation officer. He had been detained for questioning over the video earlier in the month.
The trailer for the crudely produced film ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad caused an outbreak of violence at U.S. diplomatic posts in the Middle East and throughout the world. Four American diplomats died in the violence.
In the wake of the initial violence, two media outlets interviewed a California man who gave his name as Sam Bacile and reportedly said he had produced, directed and written "Innocence of Muslims." But his claims, which included that he was an Israeli American in the real estate business, quickly came under scrutiny and were found to be untrue.
Members of the film’s cast, who said they were misled about its true message, said the film’s producer was Egyptian.
In 2010, Nakoula pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution, the AP reported. The report cited federal court papers saying that Nakoula had used the name Nicola Bacily, among other aliases.