Now that Obama's weighed in, just about everyone on Earth has spoken up about bizarre Innocence of Muslims trailer that sparked violent protests in the Middle East. Everyone, that is, except the man largely believe to be responsible for it: the 55-year-old Coptic Christian former gas station owner named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. We may not hear from him for a while, now that he's been imprisoned for parole violations and could face up to three years in prison.
Nakoula, who is believed to have written and produced the film under the name "Sam Bacile," was convicted of financial fraud in 2010 and served a 21-month prison. And before anyone could get him to discuss the film, he was taken in for questioning by police soon after the Innocence of Muslims story broke, under suspicion of violating his parole. He's now charged with eight counts of violating his parole agreement, including lying to police about his role in the film, according to the New York Times. Nakoula had also been banned by from using fake names and using the internet, both things he apparently did in the making of the film.
This is incredibly annoying because the full story behind Innocence of Muslims still isn't known. A complicated maze of deception and fake names mask the origin. (Cindy Lee Garcia, the actress who told Gawker she'd been duped into appearing in the movie, is trying to sue the Nakoula for making the film and YouTube for distributing it.) And during Nakoula's hearing for his parole violations yesterday, things got even more confusing when he revealed that he'd legally changed his name to "Mark Basseley Youssef" in 2002. Someone please score a prison interview with this guy so we can finally figure out the real story behind one of the strangest viral videos in history.
[Image of Nakoula in court Thursday via AP]