Creator Of Anti-Muslim Film Being Released From Custody

NPR icon by Mark Memmott
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Mona Shafer Edwards

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whose Innocence of Muslims film sparked deadly protests in Muslim nations in the summer of 2012, is being released from federal custody on Thursday. He'll have served slightly less than the 1-year sentence he was given for violating the conditions of his probation on an earlier bank-fraud conviction.

CNN says the 56-year-old Nakoula has most recently been living in a Southern California halfway house. The online federal prison locator says he's been in San Pedro, Calif.

He was sent to prison last year because the conditions of his probation included not using aliases and not using computers or the Internet for five years. He did those things while producing and distributing his anti-Muslim film.

After the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the deaths there of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on Sunday TV talk shows and pointed to the film as being the spark behind the violence.

When it became clear that it had been an organized attack by men with links to terrorist organizations and not a spontaneous protest about the film, Republicans accused the Obama administration of trying to mislead the American public during a presidential campaign. As NPR's David Welna reported last weekend, House Republicans continue to hold hearings about the attack and the administration's response.

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