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Anti-Islam Film Maker Arrested For Probation Violation
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Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the maker of the notorious film “Innocence of Muslims,” which inspired violence and rage in Muslim nations, was in court Thursday on seemingly unrelated issues. He had violated the terms of his probation by using aliases, and for this the prosecutor wanted him to be sentences for 24 months in prison.

The strangely steep punishment bases itself on Nakoula’s elusive use of aliases. When he entered the court for a preliminary bail hearing, Judge Suzanne Segal asked the defendant his name.

“Mark Basseley Youseff,” he said.


The judge repeated the question.

“Mark Basseley” he said.

Court documents cite his use of at least 17 false names, the most common one being Nakoula. This toggling of names seems to be what is getting him in trouble. When the incendiary Anti-Islam film hit headlines, he had identified himself as Sam Bacile, a 52-year-old Israeli American and real estate developer from California. Israel’s Foreign Ministry nevertheless lacks a record of any Israeli citizen by the name of Sam Bacile.

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It is these antics, and his deceptions to the crew with whom he made his film, that have ended him up in court. He filed his paperwork to the Screen Actor Guild as Abenob Nakoula Bassely, but signed his checks as Sam Bassil. He had been on probation after serving one year in a federal prison for check fraud, and the terms of his probation forbade his using aliases without permission.

Regarding his detention, his attorney Steve Seiden said that “It is a danger for him to remain in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles because there are a large number of Muslims in there. We are extremely concerned about his safety.”

The prosecutor countered that Nakoula could be detained in protective custody if he is ordered to jail, and thus he would have no contact with other inmates.

Meanwhile, it turns out he wasn’t an Israeli citizen, but a Coptic Christian.

“I think his fraud finally caught up to him,” said Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council. “His fraudulence in terms of trying to impersonate someone who is Jewish, he was fraudulent in calling it a film when it wasn’t even a film, and he was fraudulent with the actors who were involved.”

A Muslim from Dearborn, Mich. said last Friday, “We don’t want any harm to Mr. Nakoula, we’ll let the authorities handle him. He has the right to spout hatred.”


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