A US federal judge has determined the man behind the anti-Islamic video that inflamed Muslims worldwide is a flight risk and has ordered he be detained.
Citing a lengthy pattern of deception, US Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal on Thursday said Nakoula Basseley Nakoula should be held, after officials said he violated his probation from a 2010 cheque fraud conviction.
"The court has a lack of trust in this defendant at this time," Segal said.
Nakoula, 55, was arrested on Thursday.
He had eight probation violations, including lying to his probation officers and using aliases, and he might face new charges that carry a maximum two-year prison term, authorities said.
Nakoula will remain behind bars until another hearing where a judge will rule if he broke the terms of his probation.
Nakoula wore beige pants and a collared shirt when led into the courtroom handcuffed and shackled.
He appeared relaxed, smiling at one point before the hearing and conferring with his lawyer.
After his 2010 conviction, Nakoula was sentenced to 21 months in prison and barred from using computers or the internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.
In July, a 14-minute trailer for the film Innocence of Muslims was posted on YouTube, leading to protests around the world.
Nakoula, a Christian originally from Egypt, went into hiding after he was identified as the man behind the trailer, which depicts Mohammed as a womaniser, religious fraud and child molester.
In court on Thursday, Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale said Nakoula was flight risk, partially because of the uproar over the film.
The violence broke out in the Middle East on September 11 and has spread since, killing dozens, including US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
"He has every incentive to disappear," Dugdale said.
Media were banned from the courtroom, and reporters had to watch the proceedings on a TV in a different courthouse a couple of blocks away.
Court officials didn't give a reason for the decision.
Nakoula's lawyer Steven Seiden sought to have the hearing closed and his client released on $US10,000 bail.
He argued that Nakoula had checked in with his probation officer frequently and made no attempts to leave Southern California.
Seiden was concerned Nakoula would be in danger in federal prison because of Muslim inmates, but prosecutors said he likely would be placed in protective custody.
Nakoula has put his home up for sale, disconnected his phones and gone into hiding since violence erupted over the film.
Enraged Muslims have demanded punishment for Nakoula, including a Pakistani cabinet minister who offered a $US100,000 bounty to anyone who kills him.
First Amendment advocates have defended Nakoula's right to make the film while condemning its content.
Meanwhile, a number of actors and workers on the film have come forward to say they were tricked.
They say they were hired for a film titled Desert Warrior and there was no mention of Islam or Mohammed in the script.