LOS ANGELES (AP) â€” A Southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East was interviewed Saturday at a Los Angeles sheriff’s station and afterward decided not to return to his home â€” possibly heading into hiding, authoritiesÂ said.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was interviewed by federal probation officers for about half an hour at the station shortly after 12 a.m. in his hometown of Cerritos, Calif., saidÂ Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County sheriff’sÂ department.
After that, deputies dropped Nakoula off at an undisclosedÂ location.
“He is gone. We don’t know where he went,” Whitmore said. “He said he is not going back to hisÂ home.”
Federal officials are investigating whether Nakoula, who has been convicted of financial crimes, has violated the terms of his five-year probation. If so, a judge could send him back toÂ prison.
Nakoula went voluntarily to the station, wearing a coat, hat, scarf and glasses that concealed his appearance. His home has been besieged by media for severalÂ days.
Whitmore said Nakoula was not handcuffed and the heavy apparel was hisÂ idea.
The probation department is reviewing the case of Nakoula, who pleaded no contest to bank fraud charges in 2010 and was banned from using computers or the Internet or using false identities as part of his sentence. Whitmore did not disclose other details about theÂ interview.
Federal authorities have identified Nakoula, a self-described Coptic Christian, as the key figure behind “Innocence of Muslims,” a film denigrating Islam and theÂ Prophet MuhammadÂ that ignited mob violence against U.S. embassies across the MiddleÂ East.
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