The man behind the film that resulted in uprisings across North Africa, and the bombing of a U.S. consulate, has faced a federal inquiry. Sam Baclie–aka Nakola Basseley Nakoula–was questioned by authorities in Los Angeles, Thursday (Sept. 13).
Before he made the film, Innoncence of Muslims, offering a controversial depiction of Islam and the religion’s main figure, Prophet Muhammad, Becile participated in illegal activity. In 2010 he was convicted of bank fraud and banned from using computers, and the Internet for five years. Doing so would may be a violation of his probation. Although he was released after questioning, a spokesperson maintained that the potential breach of his probation remains under review. “He is gone. We don’t know where he went,” said spokesperson, Steve Whitemore. “He said he is not going back to his home.”
Bacile has been in hiding since the film, released in July, recently picked up steam overseas, before turning heads stateside. The fiery response in the Muslim world reached its peak on Sept. 11, when U.S Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed during a bombing in the city of Benghazi.
As a show of solidarity, leaders of the Egyptian Coptic and Muslim communities in New Jersey and New York gathered at a local mosque Saturday (Sept. 15). “There is an agony in the community, there is turmoil over this happening,” Ahmed Shedeed, event organizer said. “It’s something we all have to face as a united Egyptian community and make sure those looking to pull us apart do not succeed.”