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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

'Innocence of Muslims' Director Arrested

The filmmaker behind the film "Innocence of Muslims," was arrested Thursday and is expected to make initial appearance Thursday.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Cerritos-based filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim film "Innocence of Muslims," was arrested Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The film maker behind "Innocence of Muslims" was arrested Thursday. (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)
The film maker behind "Innocence of Muslims" was arrested Thursday. (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

Nakoula, whose film sparked deadly riots and protests around the world, was likely arrested for violating his probation in a 2010 bank fraud. The 55-year-old has been in hiding since the violent protests erupted in reaction to the film's YouTube trailer.

Federal officials confirmed earlier this month that they would be investigatng if Nakoula's involvement with the anti-Muslim film violated his probation. In 2010, Nakoula pleaded no contest to bank fraud charges after he used phony Social Security number to open bank accounts, according to court documents. Nakoula was sentenced to 21 month in prison and ordered not use computers or the internet for five years.

Nakoula was expected to make his first appearance Thursday afternoon, and federal officials confirmed that the media would likley be allowed to watch the proceeding from a downtown Los Angeles courtroom via video conference.

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