Anti-Islam filmmaker reveals a new name in court
The man accused of producing the 14-minute anti-Islam video responsible for sparking violence around the Middle East told a judge he had actually been using another name since 2002.
The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the man known to federal authorities as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula had legally changed his name to Mark Basseley Youssef 10 years ago, but did not reveal this, even while being convicted of bank fraud in 2010.
Youssef was arrested Thursday for allegedly violating the terms of his parole by uploading the short film, which depicts the Islamic holy figure Muhammad as a pedophile and a womanizer, onto the Internet.
Youssef’s parole barred him from even using the Internet without his parole officer’s permission. He faces up to three years in jail if he is found to have violated those guidelines.
According to CBS News, the video went online in July but did not gain much attention until anti-Islam activist Morris Sedak, like Youssef a Copt Christian, had it translated into Arabic and sent it to Egyptian journalists in early September. After it aired on Egyptian television days later, demonstrations against the film began to spread around the Muslim world.
Youssef, who actors associated with the film said duped them under the alias “Sam Bacile,” went into hiding shortly thereafter before being taken into custody Thursday.
Judge Suzanne H. Segal denied Youssef’s lawyer’s request that he be released, saying he “cannot be trusted” and poses some risk to the community.
CBS’ report on Youssef/Nakoula/Bacile, aired Friday, can be seen below.