The man behind an anti-Muslim film that sparked outrage in the Middle East and led to the killings of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya remained in hiding today, while local attention focused on a home in Cerritos believed to be the movie producer’s residence.
Meanwhile, officials in Duarte insisted that “Innocence of Muslims” was not filmed at a studio in that city, although the company believed to be responsible for the film, Media for Christ, has had a business license in Duarte since 2006. City officials said the film permit for the project indicates the filming was done at Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita.
Duarte officials said sheriff’s deputies would be conducting “periodic patrol checks” of the company’s offices and surrounding areas over the next few days.
Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore could not be reached for immediate comment on the department’s activities related to the outrage caused by the film.
ABC News reported that sheriff’s deputies went to the Cerritos home of the film’s producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, overnight to protect him and his family. The network cited unnamed law enforcement sources who said Nakoula, 55, feared for his life.
Nakoula told The Associated Press he was a manager of the company that produced the film, but he denied being the director, who has been identified as Sam Bacile.
The film has sparked widespread outrage for its depiction of the founder of Islam as a violent womanizer and supportive of child abuse.
Some members of the film’s cast and crew have told the Los Angeles Times they were not aware of the movie’s ultimate purpose, with some saying all the dialogue was dubbed.
An actress who appeared in the film told various media outlets she thought the movie was supposed to be a historical film, not a film mocking Muslims.
“This just turned into a nightmare,” she said in an interview aired on CBS2. “Who would have known that it was going to turn out this way?”
A crew member on the film told The Times everyone involved in the production was told they were making a war drama called “Desert Warrior.”
Hemet-based film consultant Steve Klein told reporters he worked on the script for the film and met the director, although he suspected the name Bacile was a pseudonym.
Klein told The Times he met Bacile twice and had several phone conversations with him, but didn’t know him very well.
The Times reported that Klein is an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam and founded Courageous Christians United in 1977.