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Coptic Christians react to alleged anti-Muslim filmmaker's arrest

Edwin Calderon/NBC LA

LA County Sheriff deputies escort the man known as Nakoula Besseley Nakoula from his Cerritos home earlier this month.

News of yesterday's arrest of the alleged anti-Muslim filmmaker known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is meeting with a mixed sense of relief from Egyptian Coptic Christians in Southern California, where he lives and where the inflammatory video "Innocence of Muslims" was shot.

Federal authorities arrested the Cerritos resident, who identified himself as Mark Basseley Youseff in court yesterday, in Los Angeles for violating terms of his probation following a 2010 bank fraud case. Among other things, his probation terms restricted his use of the Internet. The video, which mocks Islam and has been blamed for triggering deadly violence in the Middle East, was posted to YouTube with an Arabic voice-over.

Nakoula is Egyptian American and a Coptic Christian, a sizeable religious minority in Egypt with roots that date back to the early days of Christianity. After his identity became known earlier this month, his local co-religionists distanced themselves from Nakoula, condemning the film and the violent reaction abroad.

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