Phony Name, Real Time: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Gets Year in Prison for False ID
The White House is no longer blaming him and his inflammatory video for sparking an attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya. But in the eyes of the U.S. government, Mark Basseley Youssef is still a criminal — and a potentially dangerous one at that. And so today, after Youssef admitted to four counts of violating his probation, a federal judge sentenced the man behind the notorious anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims” to a year in prison. The 55-year-old’s request to serve out his sentence in home confinement was denied by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder; his contention that he was some sort of First Amendment martyr, brushed aside.
Youssef — then believed to be operating under the name “Sam Bacile” — became an international figure in September when his video became a flashpoint for anti-American protests throughout the Muslim world. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted the movie, which depicts a child-molesting Prophet Muhammad, as “disgusting and reprehensible.” The American ambassador to the U.N. claimed that a protest against the movie spontaneously morphed into the complex attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead.