Police Sent to California Home of 'Innocence of Muslims' Producer, Who is 'Scared of Retaliation'

ABC News

As outrage over the anti-Muslim film "Innocence of Muslims" spreads across the Middle East, police were sent to the California home of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the film's producer, who according to authorities is frightened for his life.

Sheriff's deputies were sent to the Cerritos, California home of Nakoula, 55, Thursday to protect him and his family, a senior law enforcement official told ABC News. According to a sheriff, the police were at Nakoula's home overnight Thursday but have now left, as media reports identifying him as the man behind "Innocence of Muslims," and listing his address, have circulated.

According to California law enforcement officials, Nakoula, who is also known to authorities as Bacily Nakoula, was frightened for his life and "scared of retaliation" against his family.

Sheriffs from the Cerritos police station were sent to his home to keep Nakoula safe and to provide a uniformed presence to assist the members from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, official reports said.

Nakoula told the Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles that he was manager for the company that produced "Innocence of Muslims." He denied he directed the film and said he knew the self-described filmmaker, identified only as "Sam Bacile."

But the cell phone number that the AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as "Bacile" traced to the same Southern California address where the AP found Nakoula.

A senior official said that they also had sent local law enforcement officers to the production company "Media for Christ" in Duarte, California to keep watch on the facility, which authorities said was affiliated with making the film that has been a trigger for anti-U.S. violence and protest in several countries.

Nakoula pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution and serve 21 months in prison.

Outrage over the "Innocence of Muslims" film has spread across the Middle East as protesters have rushed the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, while further demonstrations broke out outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

On Tuesday, protesters in Cairo, Egypt, scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag in an angry demonstration against the film that depicts the founder of Islam as a fraud and a womanizer.

Click Here for the Blotter Homepage.

View Comments (5914)

Recommended for You

  • Baby Sloth Flies in Private Jet to New Home at National Aviary in Pittsburgh

    A baby sloth was recently flown on a private jet from a breeder in Florida to his new home at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 3-month-old Linnaeus sloth "enjoyed the flight very much," National Aviary marketing coordinator Laura Smith told ABC News today. The tiny sloth,…

    Good Morning America19 mins ago
  • 2 Trains Collide in Germany, 10 Dead, at Least 100 Injured

    Two morning commuter trains have collided in Bad Aibling in southern Germany, raising the death toll to 10 people and injuring more than 100 others, police said.The train manufacturer, Meridian, released a statement in German, saying two trains collided just after 7 a.m. today local time. One…

    Good Morning America25 mins ago
  • Slain Virginia Teen Discussed 'Her Boyfriend' Before Abduction, Friend Says

    A friend of the 13-year-old Virginia girl who was allegedly abducted and murdered last month said the teen had told her about an older "boyfriend" before she went missing. Nicole Lovell, 13, was found dead four days after going missing in late-January and Virginia Tech students David Eisenhauer,…

    Good Morning America31 mins ago
  • Husband Settles Bed-Hogging Debate With Laser Down the Middle

    If your significant other hogs the bed, this man has a solution: Set up a laser down the middle.Jon Nagel, of Dallas, Texas, posted this hilarious photo to Reddit where it’s now going viral with nearly 1 million views. The caption reads, “In our house there is no debate, ONLY DATA.”He said he…

    Good Morning America53 mins ago
  • Brie Larson Hasn't Seen or Spoken to Her Dad in 10 Years

    Brie Larson is up for an Oscar for her emotionally-wrenching performance of a woman held captive in a garden shed for seven years in the film "Room."Some of the inspiration for her performance, the 26-year-old actress told Elle in a new interview, comes from her own life and difficult childhood.…

    Good Morning America55 mins ago
  • Zika Virus Outbreak Updates: Florida Expands State of Emergency to 7th County

    As the Zika virus outbreak continues, including in wide swaths of Central and South America, concerns are growing, especially for pregnant women, because the mosquito-borne virus has been linked with a serious birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain. …

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Incredible Footage Shows Pedestrian Tripping Suspect as He's Running From Police

    Officers were on patrol in Kingston, United Kingdom, on Saturday when they were made aware of a report of two males dealing drugs, police said in a statement. The officers chased one of the suspects through the town center "when they received some unexpected assistance from a member of the…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Serial' Convict Adnan Syed's Hearing Wrapping Up

    Lawyers trying to get a new trial for Adnan Syed, the convicted killer at the center of hit podcast “Serial,” and the state attorneys who are hoping to keep him behind bars are making their closing arguments today after resting their respective cases in Syed's bid for a retrial. Syed’s lawyers --…

    Good Morning America
  • Behind the Scenes of ‘Fresh Off the Boat’

    Yang, together with 11-year-old Forrest Wheeler, who plays Emery, and Ian Chen, 9, as Evan, had to get up to speed on the pop culture of the mid-1990s, when the sitcom is set. "I probably had to learn, a lot, too, like, about the rap music, about the culture," Yang said. ABC News’ Chris Connelly…

    Good Morning America
  • Jeb Bush's Fall (or Maybe Rise)

    On the eve of today’s New Hampshire presidential primary, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush finished his day at the Frank Jones Center on the seacoast, the same locale where another unlikely GOP contender, John McCain, once hosted his final town hall in a state that he ultimately won eight…

    Good Morning America
  • Officers Give Basketball Hoop to Neighborhood Kids Playing Without Backboard

    Three Ohio police officers gave a big assist Friday night when they gave neighborhood children a new basketball hoop. "This was something that was basically from their hearts," Chief Jim Toles of the Lockland Police Department in Lockland, Ohio, told ABC News. Toles said that Officers Drew Jones,…

    Good Morning America
  • Teresa Giudice Reveals Why She Doesn't Blame Her Husband for Her Prison Term

    In her first live TV interview since being released from prison, Teresa Giudice said she does not blame her husband, Joe Giudice, for the couple’s legal troubles. “No, I don’t,” Giudice, 42, said today on “Good Morning America” when asked if she held Joe responsible. The “Real Housewives of New…

    Good Morning America
  • Zika Virus Outbreak: Consumer Reports Shares Best Zika-Fighting Repellents

    With concern surrounding the Zika virus at an all-time high, Consumer Reports has re-released its exclusive ratings of mosquito repellents that best protect against the mosquitoes that spread the virus. Officials Monday announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emergency…

    Good Morning America
  • UCLA Gymnast's Floor Routine Goes Viral With Dab, Nae Nae Moves

    One gymnast is tumbling into Facebook glory with more than 22 million views on her epic hip-hop-themed floor routine.Sophina DeJesus, a senior at UCLA, nailed her floor routine versus Utah with moves that would make even Beyoncé proud. She struts, she dabs and she Nae Naes in her shiny silver and…

    Good Morning America
  • Marco Rubio Believes He Must Be ‘Doing Something Right’

    Sen. Marco Rubio today brushed off recent attacks by his GOP rivals, saying he must be "doing something right," and expressing confidence despite what he called the "unusual set up" in today’s New Hampshire primary. Despite Christie's attacks, Rubio believes he had "a very strong debate," and…

    Good Morning America
  • John Kasich’s New Hampshire Primary Day Prediction: ‘We’re Going to Finish Very Strong’

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose campaign has maintained a laser-like focus on performing well in today’s New Hampshire primary, declined to predict exactly how he would place once all the votes are counted here, but sounded a note of confidence in an interview today on "Good Morning America.""We’re…

    Good Morning America
  • Hong Kong 'Fish Ball Revolution' Erupts in Violent Crackdown

    Violent clashes erupted overnight in Hong Kong after protesters defended unlicensed food vendors, set up for Chinese New Year celebrations, from being shut down by police. The group said on its official Facebook page that its candidate for local council, Edward Leung Tin-kei, had been arrested.

    Good Morning America