Filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whose anti-Muslim film "The Innocence of Muslims" has sparked a wave of violence across the Muslim World, was ordered held without bond by a federal judge at a hearing in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, a spokesman for the Justice Department told TheWrap.
Nakoula, 55, was deemed a flight risk by Judge Suzanne H. Segal.
Nakoula was taken into custody by federal authorities earlier Thursday for allegedly violating the terms of his probation for a bank-fraud conviction. Under his parole, Nakoula was barred from using the internet without approval of his probation officer, a term that he might have violated in numerous ways, including uploading the trailer to YouTube.
Nakoula was released on probation in June 2011, and began making the film in August.
Nakoula's arrest comes a day after Cindy Lee Garcia, one of the actresses in the project, re-filed her suit against Nakoula, a Coptic Christian, in federal court, after being shot down earlier by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. She is seeking to have the film removed from YouTube and is also seeking damages from the filmmaker.
Garcia, among other cast members in the film, claims that the anti-Muslim dialog was dubbed into the film in post-production, and that the original script gave no indication that the film would be insulting to Muslims.
Excerpts from the script for the film, originally titled "Desert Warriors," indicate a discrepancy between the original dialog and that which eventually appeared in the trailer for the film.
Nakoula has become a reviled figure in the Muslim world. On Wednesday, a faction of the Taliban in Afghanistan offered a $500,000 reward for the death of Nakoula.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton told the United Nations on Thursday that a North African group with ties to Al Qaeda may have been involved in the dozens of killings that have occurred since an Arabic translation of the movie's trailer appeared on YouTube.
"Now, with a larger safe haven and increased freedom to maneuver, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions,” Clinton said. “And they are working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi.”
Amid the violence, U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others were killed during a rocket attack, but it was unclear whether it was in response to the film. The government is also looking into whether the attacks were pre-planned to tie into the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Even Salman Rushdie, who himself was targeted by radical Muslims following the publication of his book "The Satanic Verses," was moved to call Nakoula "disgusting" during an interview with "Today."
"He did it on purpose," Rushdie said. "I mean, he set out to create a response, and he got it in spades."
The bank-fraud conviction that landed Nakoula on probation is but one mark in an extensive criminal career. In addition to several judgments against him in financial matters, ABC News reporter Brian Ross reported earlier this month that Nakoula had served time for manufacturing amphetamines.