California Man Linked to Anti-Islam Film Taken in For Questioning

by
Reuters
A California man convicted of bank fraud was taken in for questioning on Saturday by officers investigating possible probation violations stemming from the making of an anti-Islam video that triggered violent protests in the Muslim world.

A California man convicted of bank fraud was taken in for questioning on Saturday by officers investigating possible probation violations stemming from the making of an anti-Islam video that triggered violent protests in the Muslim world.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, voluntarily left his home in the early hours of Saturday morning for the meeting in a sheriff's station in the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

"He will be interviewed by federal probation officers," Whitmore said, adding that Nakoula had not been placed under arrest. "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 led out of his home by several sheriff's deputies, his face shielded by a scarf, hat and sunglasses.

The crudely made 13-minute English-language video, which was filmed in California and circulated on the Internet under several titles including "Innocence of Muslims", mocks 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.

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.