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Man behind anti-Islam film due in L.A. court next week

LOS ANGELES, Oct 6 (Reuters) - A California man behind ananti-Islam film that stoked violent protests in the Muslim worldis due to appear in a federal court in Los Angeles next week fora preliminary hearing on whether he violated the terms of hisprobation over a 2010 bank fraud conviction, court papers show.

Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, who before went by the nameNakoula Basseley Nakoula, is scheduled to go before U.S.District Judge Christina Snyder on Wednesday, the documentsfiled on Friday in U.S. District Court show.

The terms of Youssef's 2011 release from prison include aban on using aliases without the permission of a probationofficer.

The Egyptian-born Youssef has been described as the producerof a crudely made 13-minute video filmed in California andcirculated online under a number of titles, including "Innocenceof Muslims." It mocked the Prophet Mohammad and sparked atorrent of anti-American unrest in Egypt and other Muslimcountries last month.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Youssef on Sept. 27 andtook him before a federal judge that day for a hearing held amidtight security at which prosecutors accused him of violating theterms of his probation.

A judge that day ordered him held without bail, and afederal prison official later confirmed he was taken to ahigh-rise federal jail in downtown Los Angeles.

The defendant, who had worked in the gas station industry,declared at the outset of his last hearing that he had changedhis name to Mark Basseley Youssef in 2002 from his previous nameof Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

While previous court documents referred to him as Nakoula,the latest court papers from Friday name him as Youssef. He mostrecently lived in a suburb of Los Angeles.

An actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, who appeared briefly in theclip, has accused him in a federal lawsuit of making the filmunder the alias Sam Bacile. Garcia has said she thought she wasworking on a historical adventure film and did not know it hadanything to do with Mohammad.

Other people who appeared in or worked on the film have madesimilar claims.

Federal authorities have stressed that they are notinvestigating the film over its content, but Youssef's arresthas led to some criticism from free speech advocates.

Prosecutors did not specify which terms of Youssef's 2011conditional release he is suspected of violating, but they saidhe had used aliases and that they could seek to have him sent toprison for up to 24 months if a judge finds he violated hisprobation.

(Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Eric Walsh)

((alex.dobuzinskis@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: USA FILM/PROTESTS