New name adds latest twist in case of man behind anti-Muslim film

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Courtroom sketch of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula

Courtroom sketch of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (r), man behind anti-Islamic video, appearing in Central District of California Court for alleged violations of his supervised release conditions stemming from a prior federal bank fraud conviction. (AP image)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The mystery surrounding the man behind the anti-Islamic video that sparked violence in the Middle East has taken another strange turn.

After being arrested yesterday in Los Angeles for allegedly violating probation, the man gave yet another name in a string of aliases he has used. Nakoula Nakoula told a judge his real name was Mark Youseff, and said he’d been using that name since 2002.

The judge ordered him held in prison without bond until another judge can hold a hearing to determine if he broke the terms of his probation. She cited a lengthy pattern of deception and the potential to flee.

Nakoula was convicted of check fraud in 2010 and sentenced to 21 months in prison. He was barred from using computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer. He also wasn’t supposed to use any name other than his true legal name without the prior written approval of his probation officer. But three names have been associated with him this month alone.

The full story about the video “Innocence of Muslims” and Nakoula’s role in it still isn’t known.

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