Breaking News

Maker of Anti-Islam Film Questioned by Federal Police

The Californian man behind the anti-Islamic  movie that has caused outrage across the Muslim world emerged from hiding this  morning to be interviewed by federal probation officers.

With his face obscured behind a hat, glasses  and a scarf, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55 was taken to a sheriff’s station in  his hometown of Cerritos by deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s  department.

Convicted fraudster Nakoula is under  investigation by probation officers to determine whether his inflammatory film  ‘Innocence of Muslims’ has violated the terms of his release, which could land  him back in prison.

After arriving at his home just after  midnight deputies escorted Nakoula to an awaiting car and he was taken to the  station where he was questioned over his involvement in the film production  which has been blamed for the mass protests across the Middle East which  resulted in the death of four American citizens on Wednesday.

The man behind it all: Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officers in Cerritos, California

Convicted of $800,000 worth of bank fraud in  2010, Nakoula, who is suspected of using the alias Sam Bassil during the  production of the controversial film was released on the condition that he did  not access the internet or use aliases.

Violent protests around the Arab world have  sprung up because of the film, which portrays the Prophet Mohammed as a  womaniser, buffon, ruthlesskiller and child molester and led to the death of  seven people alone yesterday.

Nakoula voluntarily left his home in the  early hours of Saturday morning for the meeting in a sheriff’s station Los  Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

‘He will be interviewed by federal probation  officers,’ said Whitmore.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo was attack by  protesters yesterday and demonstrations against American consulates spread to  Yemen on Thursday and on Friday to several other countries across the Middle  East.

Nakoula, whose name has been widely linked to  the film in media reports, pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 2010 and was  sentenced to 21 months in prison, to be followed by five years on supervised  probation, court documents showed.

He was accused of fraudulently opening bank  and credit card accounts using Social Security numbers that did not match the  names on the applications, a criminal complaint showed. He was released in June  2011, and at least some production on the video was done later that  summer.

But the terms of Nakoula’s prison release  contain behavior stipulations that bar him from accessing the Internet or  assuming aliases without the approval of his probation officer.

A senior law enforcement official in  Washington has indicated the probation investigation relates to whether he broke  one or both of these conditions. Violations could result in him being sent back  to prison, court records show.

He said Nakoula had not been placed under  arrest but would not be returning home immediately. ‘He was never put in  handcuffs… It was all voluntary.’

Nakoula, who has denied involvement in the  film in a phone call to his Coptic Christian bishop, was ushered out of his home  and into a waiting car by several sheriff’s deputies, his face shielded by a  scarf, hat and sunglasses.

The crudely made 13-minute English-language  film, filmed in California and circulated on the Internet under several titles  including ‘Innocence of Muslims’, mocks the Prophet Mohammad.

The film sparked a violent protest at the  U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi during which the U.S. ambassador  and three other Americans were killed on Tuesday. Protests have spread to other  countries across the Muslim world.

For many Muslims, any depiction of the  prophet is blasphemous. Caricatures deemed insulting in the past have provoked  protests and drawn condemnations from officials, preachers, ordinary Muslims and  many Christians.

U.S. officials have said authorities were not  investigating the film project itself, and that even if it was inflammatory or  led to violence, simply producing it cannot be considered a crime in the United  States, which has strong free speech laws.

Two attorneys visited Nakoula’s home hours  before he was taken in for questioning. They said they were there to consult  with him.

The violent protests over the film in Libya  caused mob attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and  three other American officials.

Please ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Jewish Content

Posted by on September 15, 2012. Filed under NY News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.