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California man behind anti-Muslim film that sparked Middle East violence to be freed

A California man behind an anti-Muslim film that led to violence in parts of the Middle East is due to be freed from federal custody in a separate case, an official said Monday.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 56, is scheduled for release on Thursday from a halfway house in Southern California where he's been held since May, said Ed Ross, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Nakoula, whose name in court files is Mark Basseley Youssef, was sentenced in November to a year in federal prison for using false names in violation of a probation order in a bank fraud case. That case was not related to the film.

He told Fox News earlier this year that he was proud of the film and was fighting against the "terrorism culture," not religion.

"I have a lot of Muslim friends and not all the Muslims believe in the terrorism culture. Some of them believe in this culture. That's why we need to fight (against) the culture, not the Muslims. My enemy is the terrorism culture," he told Fox in a telephone interview.

Ross declined to state where Nakoula is being held. A message left for his attorney, Steven Seiden, was not immediately returned.

Deadly violence related to the film "Innocence of Muslims" broke out in September 2012 and spread to many parts of the Middle East. The film depicts Mohammad as a religious fraud, pedophile and womanizer.

Nakoula, who acknowledged being the film's scriptwriter, went into hiding after the violence erupted.

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