THE JEENYUS CORNER
The California man behind an anti-Islam film that stoked violent protests across the Muslim world was being held at a federal high-rise jail in downtown Los Angeles on Friday over possible probation violations, a prison official said.
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 has been described as the producer of a crudely made 13-minute video filmed in California and circulated online under several titles including “Innocence of Muslims.” It portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a sexual deviant.
The clip sparked a torrent of anti-American unrest in Egypt, Libya and many other Muslim countries over the past two weeks. The violence coincided with an attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
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.”
His attorneys declined to comment through a spokesman on Friday about Nakoula’s detention, other than to say they remained concerned about his safety.
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