Nakoula Basseley Nakoula behind bars, but not for anti-Islam YouTube video
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man allegedly behind the anti-Islam YouTube video that sparked violent protests across North Africa and the Middle East, is being held while authorities determine whether he violated probation restrictions for an earlier conviction.
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"He engaged in a likely pattern of deception both to his probation officers and the court," US Magistrate Suzanne Segal said in issuing her ruling that Nakoula be held pending a decision on the eight charges of violating probation. "The court has a lack of trust in this defendant at this time.”Skip to next paragraph
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The amateurish short video – there’s no indication that a full film ever was produced – stirred deadly riots that began in Egypt, then spread to other countries, including Libya. There, US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Embassy personnel were killed at the consulate in Benghazi.
Beyond the immediate violence that “Innocence of Muslims” set off on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the episode has raised questions about who launched the attack in Benghazi and the Obama administration’s response, which in turn has stirred US politics as the presidential election approaches. A subtext is freedom of expression – enshrined in the US Constitution but not recognized in countries where “Innocence of Muslims” is considered blasphemy.
Shortly after the attack that killed Ambassador Stevens, UN Ambassador Susan Rice said the riot in Benghazi “seems to have been hijacked … by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons.”
Since then, White House officials have acknowledged that it was a sophisticated “terrorist attack.” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, some Republican lawmakers, and conservative media have faulted President Obama for what they say is a weak and halting response to the attack and the broader regional unrest it reflects.
The extent to which Al Qaeda was involved remains unclear. Whether or not it was Al Qaeda per se, the organization has cooperated with a number of known terrorist groups worldwide including “The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group,” according to GlobalSecurity.org.
Back in the United States, where Nakoula Basseley Nakoula remains in custody, actors who appeared in “Innocence of Muslims” say they were duped into appearing in a film they were told was titled “Desert Warriors,” into which anti-Islam dialogue later was dubbed. One actress has sued YouTube and parent company Google in an attempt to have the video removed.
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