A Californian man with previous convictions for fraud and drug manufacture was questioned by police today in relation to the controversial film Innocence Of Muslims, which negatively depicts the Prophet Mohammed. Meanwhile, protests against the film have spread beyond Egypt, Libya and Yemen to Sudan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Australia. A total of eleven people are known to have been killed in related clashes.
The Californian, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is understood to have cooperated with police and has not been formally arrested. Under US law, which provides strong protections for freedom of speech, he cannot be charged in relation to the film itself. If he is found to be behind it, however, this could constitute a breach of the terms of a parole agreement currently in force following his 2012 arrest on fraud charges. Nakoula has a history of impersonation and has been expressly forbidden from using aliases without special permission. He is believed to have a history of working in the film business making low budget pornography.
Investigations into the backers of the film are also proceding, with a group called Media For Christ found to have obtained a shooting permit for a film called Desert Warriors, which the actors in the film have said was the working title of the production.
Eight people were arrested today following clashes between protestors and police in Sydney. Meanwhile, senior muslim leaders in Egypt and Saudi Arabia have appealed for calm.