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Architect of anti-Islam YouTube clip returns to jail

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Bret Hartman/Reuters

(Read caption) Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (c.) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California in this September 15 photo.

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Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (AKA "Mark Basseley Youssef"; AKA "Sam Bacile;" etc...) was returned to jail yesterday.

Mr. Nakoula, a Coptic Christian and Egyptian immigrant to the US, was jailed for violating the terms of his parole over an earlier fraud conviction stemming from a scheme he ran to steal money from ATM machines. He's far, far better known as the author of the script that became the YouTube clip that prompted a brief takeover of the US embassy in Egypt, and continues to feed much confusion around what exactly happened in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 

Why has he gone back to prison? Given the nature of his financial fraud, the terms of his release required him to use only his legal name, to tell the truth to his parole officers. In the making of the YouTube clip, he told actors hired for the film that his name was "Sam Bacile." The actors themselves were misled about his plans for the movie, with the most virulently anti-Islamic content dubbed in over their lines later.

In conversations with reporters after the controversy erupted in September, he continued to claim his name was "Sam Bacile" and also lied in claiming that he was an Israeli citizen. His lies, not the content of his video, finally caught up with him.


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