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Afghans burn an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama
Afghans burn an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama
Image: Nashanuddin Khan/AP/Press Association Images

Filmmaker questioned as protests continue over anti-Islamic movie

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda has called for more attacks on US embassies.
Sep 15th 2012, 6:27 PM 6,868 49

A MAN LINKED to the film that has sparked massive global protests by Muslims has been questioned but not arrested, US authorities have said.

Fifty-five-year-old Nakoula Bassely Nakoula was interviewed at a Los Angeles sheriff’s station but was not detained.

Nakoula has previously been convicted of financial crimes and, as part of his sentence, he was banned from using computers or the Internet. Officers are now examining whether he broke the rules of his probation.

It is understood that the film itself does not violate any American laws.

Federal authorities in the US have identified Nakoula, a self-described Coptic Christian, as the key figure behind ‘Innocence of Muslims’, a film denigrating Islam and the Prophet Muhammad that ignited mob violence against US embassies across the Middle East. It has also sparked protests in London and Sydney.

The 14-minute trailer for the film depicts the prophet Mohammad as a womaniser, a child molester and general buffoon. It was first uploaded to YouTube in June but was later translated into Arabic in the week before the 11 September anniversary.

US website Gawker has 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. It also was named the film’s director as 65-year-old Alan Roberts.

Violent protests set off by the film in Libya played a role in mob attacks in Benghazi that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officials. US Embassy gates in Cairo were breached by protesters and demonstrations against American missions spread to Yemen on Thursday and on Friday to several other countries.

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen has praised the killing of Stevens and has called for more attacks. In a statement published online, the terrorist group encouraged more assaults to expel American embassies from Muslim nations.

Protests continued in Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan today with massive anti-American sentiments.

-Additional reporting by AP and AFP

Earlier: Anti-Islam film protests spread to Australia>

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Sinead O'Carroll

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