Nakoula Basseley Sam Bacile: The Innocence of Muslims alleged filmmaker may have violated probation

Officials Question Man Tied To Anti-Islam Film

Officials Question Man Tied To Anti-Islam Film

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Sept. 15 2012 11:30 AM

Federal Probation Officers Question Alleged Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker

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Demonstrators shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest against the film Innocence of Muslims in Jakarta, on Friday

Photo by BAY ISMOYO/AFP/GettyImages

Authorities apparently waited until most of the journalists were gone to sweep in. Very early Friday morning, just after midnight, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies dropped in on Nakoula Basseley the Southern California filmmaker who has been linked to the now-infamous anti-Islamic movie that has sparked protests across the Middle East, reports the Los Angeles Times. He was interviewed by federal probation officers at the station in Cerritos, his hometown, but was not arrested or detained.

News cameras and journalists had been waiting outside Nakoula’s home all day. And police may have been willing to wait for most of them to be gone to interview the man believed to have used the alias Sam Bacile in media interviews because he reportedly didn’t put up any resistance. Nakoula, who was “very cooperative,” agreed to the “entirely voluntary” interview, a spokesman for the LA County sheriff’s department tells the local NBC affiliate.

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The feds had said they were investigating Nakoula and whether he had violated the terms of his probation throughout the making or dissemination of the Innocence of Muslims. As part of his probation, Nakoula was forbidden from accessing the Internet without prior approval from his probation officer after he pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges in California in 2010, reports the Associated Press. Nakoula was ordered to pay $790,000 in restitution and sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.