The man behind the crude 14-minute that incited violent demonstrations around the Middle East appeared in federal court Thursday after being arrested.
Nakoula had been convicted of bank fraud two years ago and ordered not to get online without the approval of his probation officer. He went into hiding after being identified as the man behind the alias “Sam Bacile,” which he used as the producer of the film. The video has drawn condemnation around the Muslim world for painting the Islamic holy figure Muhammad in an extremely negative light.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office told KNBC-TV that the United States Probation Office requested Nakoula be arrested.
The film’s release sparked several protests, including one linked to the death of U.S. envoy Chris Stevens at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. However, Libyan President Mohammed Magarief has blamed that attack on a premeditated terrorist plot.
Since its release, members of the film’s cast and crew have said they were deceived into thinking they were making a historical action movie, with their scripts containing no references to Muhammad.