Alleged anti-Muslim filmmaker taken to 'voluntary' talk with feds
The filmmaker allegedly behind the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" movie that has sparked a violent worldwide backlash 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 up Nakoula Basseley Nakoula at his Cerritos home on behalf of federal probation officials. He has not been arrested or detained, Whitmore said.
Nakoula was whisked away by a waiting car about 12:25 a.m. Saturday, shrouded in a hat and 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 Los Angeles 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 Internet.
He had been ordered not to own or use devices with access to the Internet 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 his enlisting others to access 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.
-- Robert Faturechi and Allen J. Schaben
Photo: L.A. County Sheriff's deputies Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, in for interviewing early Saturday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times