U.S. federal authorities questioned early on Saturday the alleged brains behind the film that has inflamed much of the Muslim world by lampooning the Prophet Mohammed, but quickly released him.
Nakoula Besseley Nakoula was “given a ride” from his southern California home to the interview shortly after midnight, with investigators seeking to establish if he broke the terms of his probation over a bank fraud conspiracy, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Don Walker told Agence France Presse.
A man later emerged from the police station wearing a coat, hat, scarf and glasses, a local NBC News affiliate reported.
The anti-Islam film — entitled “Innocence of Muslims” on its 14-minute YouTube trailer — was produced by a U.S. religious group called Media for Christ and reportedly directed by a pornographer.
In 2010 he was convicted of defrauding U.S. banks by opening false accounts and passing bad checks, court documents show, and he served one year before being released on probation.
The film was directed by 65-year-old Alan Roberts, an industry veteran whose prior oeuvre was dominated by schlock soft porn and hammy action with titles like “Young Lady Chatterley II” and “Karate Cop,” according to website Gawker.
Gawker interviewed members of the cast of “Innocence of Muslims,” who say they were duped into appearing in what they thought was a fictional epic, only to discover their lines had been dubbed over with anti-Muslim propaganda.