A picture of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the film maker who has been in hiding since his anti-Islam movie triggered violence across the Middle East, has been publicly identified by the British Daily Mail.
The tabloid released a picture of Nakoula, who is also known as Sam Bacile, seated next to the film’s star Anna Gurji, who says she was duped into making the movie by the 55-year-old director.
Hours before the tabloid printed the photo, authorities in Cerritos, California, interviewed Nakoula for about an hour. When escorting him to the police station, authorities concealed his appearance from head to toe. He wore a white scarf from the neck up to his eyes and he was also wearing a full oversized winter coat, sunglasses and a cap.
The Egyptian born Coptic Christian is said to be the key figure behind the movie “Innocence of Muslims”, a film denigrating Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
Most of the movie was funded by the Media of Christ, a nonprofit based in Duarte. The movie was also shot in their offices in the Los Angeles area.
The movie has ignited anti-US clashes from Morocco to Malaysia, where at least seven people were killed and thousands were left injured.
Gurji, who claims she was duped by the film maker, plays Muhammad’s child bride. She spoke publicly for the first time on Saturday about her fears.
“I was playing the youngest bride of a character named George,” Gurji said. “I had no idea George would be changed to Muhammad. “ She said she has been locked in her home “terrified people in the Middle East would blame” her.
Federal officials spoke with Nakoula on Saturday to determine whether he violated the terms of his five year probation. He pleaded no contest to bank fraud charges in 2010 and was banned from using computers or the internet or using false identifies as part of his sentence.