'Innocence of Muslims' associates get death threats, consultant says
People associated with the "Innocence of Muslims" film that has prompted protests and violence in several Muslim countries have received death threats and are fearful for their lives, a consultant for the movie said.
Hemet insurance agent Steve Klein, who worked as a script consultant and spokesman for the film, on Friday said he received a death threat and has reported it to the FBI.
"They wanted me to go into hiding, but I said no," Klein said.
Klein said that his friend Joseph Nasralla is in hiding and also has been in contact with FBI agents, who suggested that he stay out of the public eye. Nasralla's nonprofit organization, Media for Christ, secured the permit to produce the controversial movie.
Klein said he knew the apparent filmmaker only by his alias, Sam Bacile. Bacile is believed to be Cerritos resident Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a service station owner with a checkered criminal history.
Nakoula had been holed up in his home since Wednesday, in the aftermath of an attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where protesters of the anti-Muslim film stormed the compound and killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
On Friday, deputies escorted an attorney who identified himself as Steve Seiden to Nakoula's home to meet him. As Seiden left, he asked the media to leave and complained that Nakoula's children were "prisoners in their own house."
At about 12:25 a.m. Saturday, deputies returned to the Cerritos home. They picked up Nakroula on behalf of federal probation officials. He has not been arrested or detained, Whitmore said.
Nakoula was whisked away. He tried to obscure his identity by covering his face with a white scarf. He wore a hat and a heavy winter coat.
Probation officials are 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.
-- Phil Willon in Hemet and Robert Faturechi in Los Angeles