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Friday, November 9, 2012
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Anti-Islam filmmaker jailed in US

Mark Basseley Youssef

The man behind the anti-Islam video blamed for sparking deadly protests in the Muslim world was jailed in the US for a year on Wednesday for breaching the terms of his probation for a previous offense.

Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, will serve the sentence in a US federal prison after he admitted four allegations of using false identities -- a violation of the terms of his probation for a bank fraud conviction in 2010.

He had faced up to two years behind bars, but four other charges were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Youssef was identified as the main man behind "Innocence of Muslims," an amateurish film which defamed Prophet Mohammed triggering a wave of violent protests that left dozens dead in September.

The video was also linked to the September 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

In February 2009, a federal indictment accused Youssef and others of fraudulently obtaining the identities and Social Security numbers of customers at several Wells Fargo branches in California and withdrawing $860 from them.

He was jailed for 21 months and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without authorization, and also banned from using fictitious names during his supervised release.

Youssef was arrested in September for eight probation violations. At a hearing last month he denied all counts, but on Wednesday he admitted to four, in return for the other four being set aside.

US District Judge Christina A Snyder said Youssef, who has already spent five weeks in custody, must spend 12 months behind bars, followed by four years of supervised release.

Youssef was previously listed as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and known as Sam Bacile when the protests about the video emerged.

According to court papers, Youssef wrote and produced the trailer, and uploaded an English-language version of it onto YouTube on July 2, followed by a version dubbed in Arabic on September 11, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

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Mark Basseley Youssef has been jailed not because he made the insulting video as he claims from Haidth's description of prophet's life. However I do not endorse the uncivilized protest by our intolerant Muslim brothers who hijacked the concept of 'peace' in Islam. How many of our rational brothers came forward to protest against these hardcore irrational zealots to restore sanity to our religion. I do not believe that Islam and our Allah and Prophet are so ordinary that can be insulted. After all, no God can be insulted -- if we accept the concept God is Mighty.

: naabaj

Do you not understand the context of these convictions? One has been charged for violating his probation for an original conviction of bank fraud and the other convicted of trying to kill innocent people. If you cannot see the difference between these two crimes and why these sentences are so different, then you have a sad soul and people like you make this world a dangerous place to live in.

: Niaz Ahmed, New York, NY


  • mujibul alam khan
    Friday, November 9, 2012 08:14 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    This way of reporting will satisfy some but confuse many. Mark Besseley, first of all, was not arrested for making anti-Islam video. Rather he was arrested for violating parole. And indeed, he is jailed for the same crime.

  • Iftikhar-ul-Awwal
    Friday, November 9, 2012 12:57 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    The American justice system is an anathema to us. A man like Mark Basseley who created great commotion in the Muslim world by circulating anti-Islamic video was convicted for a year only. Mind you, he had earlier been caught for a bank fraud and convicted in 2010. On the other hand, the FBI which instigates young Muslims to destructive path by setting up sting operations are punished severely for 17 to 20 years hard labor. What a mad world it is!





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