U.S. Federal Authorities Detain Alleged Producer of Anti-Muslim Film
The alleged filmmaker behind the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” movie was taken early Saturday morning to a “voluntary interview” with federal probation authorities, sheriff’s officials said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said deputies picked Nakoula Basseley Nakoula up at his Cerritos home on behalf of federal probation officials. He has not been arrested or detained, Whitmore said.
Nakoula was whisked away into a waiting car about 12:25 a.m. Saturday, shrouded in a hat and a white scarf covering his face. He wore a heavy winter coat and kept his hands in his pocket.
Nakoula was picked up after most of the media encamped at his home had left for the day, except for a lone Times photographer and a few other reporters.
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.
Nakoula is believed to be responsible for the “Innocence of Muslims” film, which has caused widespread unrest in the Arab world. On Tuesday, protesters in Libya stormed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens died in the attack along with three other Americans.