News / USA

US Authorities Question Man Allegedly Behind Anti-Islam Film

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (C) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California, September 15, 2012. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (C) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California, September 15, 2012.
x
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (C) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California, September 15, 2012.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (C) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California, September 15, 2012.
VOA News
U.S. probation officials in California have questioned the man allegedly behind the controversial film that sparked violent protests in the Muslim world.

Sheriff's officials said Saturday that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was questioned in Cerritos near his home for possible probation violations stemming from a 2010 bank fraud conviction.

They say the terms of his probation include a five year ban on using computers or the Internet, without approval from a probation officer.

Police say Nakoula left his home voluntarily to be interviewed by federal authorities. Authorities say he was not arrested or detained.

The film, titled The Innocence of Muslims, sparked protests in regions including the Middle East, Africa and Asia because it mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

In an earlier interview with U.S.-government-funded Radio Sawa, the alleged director of the film said his fellow Arabs "have to learn to demonstrate peacefully."  He said any allegation the U.S. government was involved in the making of the movie is "ridiculous" and that "America has nothing to do with the film."

Radio Sawa says the man refused to confirm his identity, but that a source who provided the contact information identified him as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

Several news organizations have linked the inflammatory film to Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Coptic Christian.

Initially, the film was said to have been produced by a man named Sam Bacile, who told news media he is Israeli-American.  A consultant on the film confirmed the name "Sam Bacile" was a pseudonym.  There is no record of the film or its producer in Hollywood reference sources.  

The man believed to be Nakoula tells Radio Sawa he did not expect the film would cause such strong reactions from the Arab and Muslim world, saying the film's other producers "put my mind at ease."  But he also says all the film's advisers were "foreigners who do not know anything about Arabs and have never visited Arab countries."

During a protest over the film outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Tuesday, armed militants killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. staff members.

Nakoula says he is saddened by the deaths, but that he does not regret making the film.  Nakoula also rejected allegations made by some of the actors and crew members that they were tricked into making the movie.

When asked if he misled the actors and crew, he said "This is a producer’s right. He can put what he wants in the film without consulting the actors... my answer to them is that they do not belong to a professional association."

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Naila Bashir from: Pakistan
September 17, 2012 6:18 AM
USA see ur double standards on freedom of expression and Blasphemy. "USA government has nothing to do with this movie" oh mam look at this.


by: mar s from: usa
September 16, 2012 11:01 PM
this guy is a IDIOT the muslim comunity all ready dislike us see freedum is a responsability not a stupidity if he thinks he did good well I hope the he can bare the responsabilty of the many american people tha may loose ther life becouse his acctions IDIOT.


by: zameer from: India
September 16, 2012 10:29 AM
It is not good sign of humanity USA tries to destroy the Muslim counteries but it is deadly impossible. USA should learn lesson from Russia. Russia was not only divided but destroyed by Talibans same will happen with USA. piresent situation USA is not superpower now it is bipolar. Shame on Obama and big shame on USA


by: Zayeem Ansari from: Patna, India
September 16, 2012 6:09 AM
Freedom of speech does not mean to make mockery of someone or abuse someone or his/her family or a group, otherwise riots would trigger.

In Response

by: Jesse from: US
September 16, 2012 6:22 PM
That is literally exactly what freedom of speech means. Riots, however are not covered by the freedom of speech.


by: Wizenup
September 16, 2012 12:31 AM
What prevents anyone with extremist views, producing such a film, inside or outside a country and then entering another country and circulate it to foment international unrest? However ethnic violence against other religious groups is another issue and closer examination of such events portrays how fragile toleration of other religions is, in certain countries and how easily people are manipulated by radicals in the name of religion.


by: Kevin from: Boston
September 15, 2012 11:25 PM
I can't believe that we as American's are losing our freedom of speech. So now no one can speak there mind because someone else will get mad at it and then we will get arrested because someone else doesn't agree. We don't start rioting in the streets when an American gets killed in the middle east by those fanatical people. It is so ridiculos the government will make excuses for those killers and not defend America.


by: daniel from: seattle
September 15, 2012 9:44 PM
Our constitution's 1st amendment especially protects unpopular speech, since speech that offends no one needs no protection. The director has the absolute right to make his movie, no matter that others disagree with it's content. He didn't cause worldwide protests, he made his movie and the protesters decided to riot and burn and kill. Differing from lesser animals, humans DECIDE to react to something, and therefore are always responsible. No one could make the protesters act, it is all on them.
What does the filmmaker deserve? What did the ambassador and others deserve? Has anyone ever taken offense at one of your opinions? Do you "deserve" whatever immature violent reaction someone could visit upon you? In a world of adults, people express opinions, others express theirs, and that's it; no one deserves violent attack and death for an opinion.
The Coptic Christians in Egypt have been persecuted for millenia, but especially since the fall of Mubarak. So, it would have been very nice if journalists could have avoided pointing out the director's background (after all, he is American, right?), as such data will be one more motivation for Islamist radicals to attack them more. Of course it wouldn't be a problem if they could just grow up and live with criticism, as we civilized people do every day. Remember, the same people (Islamist radicals) rioted and murdered when they saw a mere cartoon from Denmark.


by: SuperiorPoliticsDotCom from: Minnesota
September 15, 2012 10:57 AM
Nice. The guy has a probation violation. Nobody seemed to know or even cared before this film.

This is the slippery slope towards the liberal thought police deciding what you can and can't say. Use a probation "violation" for cover.

In Response

by: 100 % ETHIO from: North-Pole
September 15, 2012 3:25 PM
He did what he does for living. Anything that he make out of the Movie, goes to his pocket.
Anything that happened and will happened, will applied to him, individually, but it has nothing to do his Religion, his Country,...

Perception, is what fuelled those protesters. They should use legal methods and Religious consultation, instead of physical violence.

We all live under the Rules, no matter where we reside. But, jumping into murder and other physical attacks, doesn't serve anyone.

Why do you think we prayed??
Christians pray to their God, to achieve ...
Jewish pray to their God, to achieve ...
Muslims pray to their God, to achieve ...
Hindu, Sikhs,...pray to their God, to achieve ...

So, why not pray, if we believe in our God????

Planet Earth is keep burning and shucking, please let us pray for it. It cares all of us.

Peace to all.

In Response

by: Will from: Indiana
September 15, 2012 12:17 PM
The law works both ways. It protects his right to free speech no matter how hateful, but it also punishes him for his mistake (bank fraud). A convicted felon who violated the term of his probation and causing riots worldwide deserves no leniency.


by: Mian Ahmad from: Renton, WA
September 15, 2012 10:30 AM
In Quraan (religiousBook for guidance of humanity) it has clear written that "Don't say any bad words regarding Deity of other faiths
so that they should not use the same wording about yours Allah".
We all must respect each other and make this world peaceful.

In Response

by: Gilgamesh from: USA
September 16, 2012 6:39 PM
So you're saying that the bible is against free speech?

In Response

by: Mike from: California
September 16, 2012 2:25 PM
There are a number of quotes from the Quraan which would shed light on the topic at hand. It seems that picking and choosing is a human trait practiced the world over.

In Response

by: Plain Mirror from: Plain planet
September 16, 2012 5:34 AM
... simply right. I do not know Quraan. But if this is what Quraan stated, that is simply right. Freedom has limit. When it comes to words and expressions, when wrongly applied or addressed to someone, the Holy Christain bible calls it murder. It is not only when one uses physical weapon to kill, that is murder, NO! people kill through their tounge and attitude to others. So, the man who produced the film is a murderer and should be treated as such.


by: Sam from: Owen
September 15, 2012 10:30 AM
Reveling the name, heritage, and religion of the man behind the movie can only bring misery to him, his family, and those who belong to his religion in his country of origin. Maybe it makes good reporting but surly irresponsible one.

In Response

by: Will from: Indiana
September 16, 2012 2:38 AM
Do you think what Nakoula did can be called 'responsible'? You have to be living under a rock to not know the kind of reaction this movie would get. If you choose not to fault him for the violence, then you can not possibly blame the reporters for it. Reporters have the moral obligation to reveal the truth, good or bad

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid