Authorities question man behind anti-Muslim film

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By Sarah Barchus

Federal probation officials questioned a man thought to be behind the anti-Muslim film "Innocence of Muslims" on Saturday, The New York Times reported.

A federal law enforcement official said authorities linked Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to the film's writer and director, a man using the pseudonym Sam Bacile, The New York Times reported.

"Innocence of Muslims" is an amateur film first released to YouTube in June. Backed by anti-Islamist groups, the film portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a buffoon, womanizer, child-molester, and a killer, the Central News Network reported.

The New York Times reported that the film helped start the protests at the United States Embassies in Egypt and Libya and at Western embassies throughout the Middle East.

The New York Times identified Nakoula as a self-described Coptic Christian. However, Nakoula said the film is not a religious movie but a political movie, CNN reported.

Nakoula was convicted of bank fraud in 2010 and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. Additionally he was placed under a five-year probation period during which he cannot access the Internet without permission, the Central News Network reported.

The interview, which took place at the Los Angeles County sheriff's station in Cerritos, was part of a review to determine whether Nakoula violated his probation, The New York Times reported.

Steve Whitmore of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that Nakoula cooperated with authorities and was not placed under arrest, CNN reported.

The New York Times reported that since the protests started Nakoula has mostly stayed in his house, which is watched by the media.


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