US identifies film-maker involved in anti-Islam film
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal authorities identified a southern California man who is on federal probation for financial crimes as the key figure behind an anti-Islam film that has spawned mob violence against American embassies across the Mideast, a United States (US) law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday.
There was no sign of Mr Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, at his family's home on Thursday in Cerritos outside Los Angeles, as details slowly began to emerge about his checkered past, his connections among southern California's right-wing Christian organisations and his central role in the production of the film.
Excerpts from the movie, which the film-maker said was called Innocence of Muslims, enraged Islamic protesters in Egypt, Libya and Yemen over its portrayal of the prophet Muhammad.
Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed on Thursday that the Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of the US ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats killed during an attack on the American mission in Benghazi. It was not immediately clear whether authorities were focusing on Nakoula as part of that probe.