The other week, I came across an interesting article that surmised production of “Innocence of Muslims” was delayed two years due to one of its creators serving time in the federal Bureau of Prisons:
Production of the anti-Muslim film that has fueled violence and demonstrations in the Middle East this week was apparently held up by one of its creators’ stint in federal prison.
The California man most closely linked to the production, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was arrested June 18, 2009 on federal bank fraud charges. A year later, according to federal court documents, Nakoula, 55, was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution and sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. He was also ordered not to use computers, cell phones, or the Internet for five years unless he got an OK from a probation officer.
It appears that the now-infamous film was already in the works in the days leading up to Nakoula’s 2009 arrest. A casting call for a film called “Desert Warrior” ran in Backstage magazine several times between May 21, 2009 and June 11, 2009, a week before his arrest.
Now comes word that Nakoula, who was discharged from the BOP in June 2011, is back in federal custody, at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC Los Angeles), having allegedly violated his terms of supervised release:
Federal officials, citing safety concerns, were tight-lipped about the conditions of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula’s confinement, including whether he was being held with the general population or was isolated from other inmates.
“He is at Metropolitan Detention Center,” said Chris Burke, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons, adding that the facility holds 969 inmates.[…]
Nakoula, who has kept out of the public eye for much of the past two weeks amid outrage over the film, was arrested and ordered jailed on Thursday over accusations he violated the terms of his 2011 release from prison on a bank fraud conviction.
Nakoula’s attorney, Steve Seiden, citing threats against the makers of the film, had argued unsuccessfully in court that holding Nakoula at Metropolitan Detention Center would be dangerous “due to the large Muslim population there.”
But Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal ruled that the Coptic Christian man, originally from Egypt, was a flight risk and had “engaged in a lengthy pattern of deception.”