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Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has been arrested for allegedly having “violated the terms of his supervised release,” U.S. Attorney’s office spokesperson Thom Mrozek told Tim Kenneally.
Nakoula is the person behind “The Innocence of Muslims,” a film denigrating Islam that has contributed to a wave of violent action in recent weeks. He was convicted of check fraud in 2010.
The terms of Nakoula’s parole include an order “not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer,” Gillian Flaccus and Greg Risling report.
If he’s found in violation, he could be returned to prison. If not, he’ll remain free. Either way, federal officials will face criticism, either from those who say Nakoula’s free speech rights were trampled or from those who believe he should have been punished for inciting violence with the video.
“This case breaks the mold,” said Mark Werksman, a defense attorney in Los Angeles and a former federal prosecutor. “If the video hadn’t gone viral, and caused the Arabic world to blow up, who would care if this guy is using YouTube? It’s all about politics with this guy.”
At a hearing Thursday afternoon at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, U.S. Magistrate Suzanne Segal ruled Nakoula should continue to be held at a federal facility: “He engaged in a likely pattern of deception both to his probation officers and the court,” Brad Knickerbocker reports. “The court has a lack of trust in this defendant at this time.”