US police 'question alleged anti-Islamic filmaker'

The alleged maker of a provocative anti-Islamic movie that has sparking violence across the Muslim world was taken early Saturday for questioning to a police station, local television reported.

The local NBC News affiliate said Nakoula Besseley Nakoula was escorted by sheriff's deputies from his Cerritos, California, home shortly after midnight for an interview by federal probation officers.

The report said the man emerged wearing a coat, hat, scarf and glasses.

Officials said the federal officers wanted to find out whether Nakoula had violated any federal probation.

In February 2009 Nakoula was charged in an alleged bank fraud conspiracy, the report said. The indictment accused him and others of fraudulently obtaining the identities and Social Security numbers of customers at several Wells Fargo branches in California and withdrawing $860 from them.

Nakoula also served a year in jail after pleading guilty to possession of meth with the intent to manufacture in 1997, NBC News said.

Local police said Nakoula had agreed to the interview prior to the deputies arriving at his home and that the move was "entirely voluntary," the report pointed out.

The film depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a thuggish deviant offended many Muslims, and sparked a wave of anti-American protests that have cost several lives and seen US missions, schools and businesses set on fire.

At least six protesters died in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Sudan on Friday as police battled to defend American missions from mobs of stone-throwers, and Washington deployed US Marines to protect its embassies in Libya and Yemen.

  • Wednesday #sgroundup: Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia 1 hour 38 minutes ago
    Wednesday #sgroundup: Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them.

  • The Lotus breadvan: Flickr photo of the day 15 hours ago
    The Lotus breadvan: Flickr photo of the day

    The Lotus Europa was one of the stranger sports cars of the '70s, but still managed to corner like a sheepdog thanks to its low weight and fiberglass body. This example caught by Dave Lindsay is fairly typical of the nicer early '70s Type 62 Europas Lotus exported to the United States; by today's standards they're odd, underpowered and unreliable — which means they have a fervent fan base.

  • Inside MotoGP, elbow on asphalt at 210 mph 16 hours ago
    Inside MotoGP, elbow on asphalt at 210 mph

    In MotoGP, a most strange sport, compact, highly fit men, most of them Spanish, Italian, Japanese, or Australian, maneuver 350-lb., multimillion-dollar motorcycles around Formula One tracks at 220 mph while wearing computerized suits that inflate when they fall off at speed. It feels as though you’re watching Tron live, and the crashes are just as spectacular. Driving these things requires a lot of nerve, as well as generous levels of Euro-style machismo. The riders of MotoGP can’t walk down the street in Barcelona or Milan without being followed by screaming fans. They’re like some sort of unholy marriage between Daft Punk and Apollo astronauts. In the United States, they’re just guys walking down the street.

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • Fresh wave of Hello Kitty mania to descend on McDonald’s outlets in Singapore
    Fresh wave of Hello Kitty mania to descend on McDonald’s outlets in Singapore

    It may not be safe to enter a McDonald’s restaurant in Singapore on Mondays starting 28 April. To celebrate the iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, the fast food chain announced last Friday that it would be releasing a new collection of Hello Kitty toys in McDonald’s restaurants island wide next Monday.

  • First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy
    First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy

    He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.