Maker of Anti-Mohammed Film Arrested
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the alleged filmmaker behind the video that sparked protests across the Muslim world, was arrested Thursday, the Los Angeles district attorney's office said.
"I can confirm he's in custody, scheduled to make a court appearance as we speak, in federal court in downtown LA," Thom Mrozek of the United States Attorney's Office told AFP, giving no further details.
The exact nature of the court appearance is unclear, because the federal court documents have been sealed, AFP noted. Officials have been investigating whether he may have violated probation terms for a previous offense.
The alleged filmmaker was expected to make his appearance via video-conference, local media reported.
Nakoula, allegedly the real identity behind the pseudonym Sam Bacile, the director of "Innocence of Muslims", was briefly taken into custody earlier this month for questioning by his probation officer.
He was traced to a home address in Cerritos, south of Los Angeles, after international protests erupted against the video, a 14-minute trailer for which was posted online. While initial reports claimed that “Bacile” is Jewish and an Israeli, this was later proven to be false.
The film depicting the prophet Mohammed as a thuggish deviant offended many Muslims, and sparked a wave of anti-American protests that have cost several lives and saw mobs burn U.S. missions, schools and businesses.
Pakistan’s Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour on Saturday placed a $100,000 bounty on Nakoula’s head.
He also called on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to join the hunt and help accomplish the "noble deed".