Saturday, September 15, 2012

Feds interview Calif. filmmaker linked to anti-Islamic movie

Last Updated: 11:20 AM, September 15, 2012
Posted: 6:04 AM, September 15, 2012

LOS ANGELES — A Southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff's station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was interviewed at the station in his hometown of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Don Walker said.
Federal officials have said they were investigating the activities of Nakoula, who has been convicted of financial crimes. If the probation department determines Nakoula violated terms of his release, a judge could send him back to prison.
REUTERS
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is escorted in a Los Angeles County Sheriff's vehicle from his home by officers in Cerritos, California.
ACTRESS IN CONTROVERSIAL FILM BARES ANGUISH
Walker said Nakoula traveled voluntarily in a squad car with deputies.
"He went to the Cerritos station to talk with probation officers. He's not under any arrest," Walker said.
The deputy said he doesn't have information on the interview or how long it lasted. KNBC-TV reported that Nakoula went to the station early Saturday morning.
The TV station said that media had been staking out the home at the end of a cul de sac in the Southern California city when the man emerged wearing a coat, hat, scarf and glasses.
There was no answer early Saturday at the federal probation department's California's central district office in Los Angeles.
The probation department is reviewing the case of Nakoula, who was previously convicted on bank fraud charges and was banned from using computers or the Internet as part of his sentence. The review is aimed at learning whether Nakoula violated the terms of his five-year probation.
Karen Redmond, a spokeswoman for the administrative office of the U.S. courts, confirmed Friday the review is under way.
Federal authorities have identified Nakoula, a self-described Coptic Christian, as the key figure behind "Innocence of Muslims," a film denigrating Islam and the Prophet Muhammad that ignited mob violence against U.S. embassies across the Middle East. A federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that authorities had connected Nakoula to a man using the pseudonym of Sam Bacile who claimed earlier to be writer and director of the film.
Violent protests set off by the film in Libya played a role in mob attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officials. U.S. Embassy gates in Cairo were breached by protesters and demonstrations against American missions spread to Yemen on Thursday and on Friday to several other countries.

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