YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsMuslims

Alleged 'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker questioned

September 15, 2012|By Robert Faturechi and Allen J. Schaben

Just after midnight, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Arab world.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies escorted a man believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to a waiting car. The man declined to answer questions on his way out and wore a hat and a towel over his face. He kept his hands in the pocket of a winter coat. 

Sheriff's officials could not be reached by The Times, but department spokesman Steve Whitmore told NBC4 that deputies assisting the federal probation department took Nakoula to the sheriff's substation in Cerritos for interviewing.

Whitmore said Nakoula was taken in for a voluntary interview with probation officials and has not been arrested or detained.

Authorities waited until most media had left for the day.

Earlier Friday, sheriff’s deputies had to escort attorneys through a scrum of news cameras into Nakoula’s home. This time, authorities only had to avoid a lone photographer for The Times and a few other lingering reporters. 

Nakoula has told the Associated Press he was a logistics manager on the "Innocence of Muslims" movie, not the director. He told a Coptic bishop Thursday that he had no role in it, the clergyman told The Times.

Nakoula is believed to use the alias Sam Bacile, which was the name a caller who took credit for the film gave to the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, U.S. courts spokeswoman Karen Redmond said the Office of Probation in the Central District of California is reviewing whether Nakoula, who was convicted on bank fraud charges, violated terms of his probation in relation to the video and its uploading onto the web.

He had been ordered not to own or use devices with access to the Web without approval from his probation officer -– and any approved computers were to be used for work only. "Defendant shall not access a computer for any other purpose," the terms read.

Restrictions were also placed on him enlisting others to get on the Internet for him.

Los Angeles Times Articles