U.S. Officials Question 'Innocence of Muslims' Filmmaker as Riots Continue to Spread

Innocence of Muslims Screen Grab - H 2012

Innocence of Muslims Screen Grab - H 2012

Federal agents interview Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, believed to be behind the film, while reports say hundreds of people clash with police in Australia.

LONDON - U.S. officials have interviewed a California man believed to be the maker of anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims that has ignited protests and riots against U.S. and other Western institutions in the Muslim world this week, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, protests against the film continued to spread on the weekend, including to Australia, the New York Times and Britain's ITV reported. Hundreds of people clashed with police in Sydney, according to ITV.

Federal agents in the U.S. questioned Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who they now consider to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Islam movie, according to CNN. It cited a representative of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department as saying that Nakoula had left the local sheriff's station after being interviewed.

"He is gone and he is free," the representative said, according to CNN. The rep dismissed suggestions that Nakoula had been arrested. But the report said his probation is under review. He was convicted of bank fraud in 2009.

Protests have now taken place in countries  from North Africa to South Asia and Indonesia. The State Department said that 65 embassies or consulates around the world had issued emergency messages about threats of violence, the Times reported.

The U.N. Security Council, meanwhile, expressed "deep concern" over the attacks on embassies around the world. In a statement late Friday it called them "unjustifiable regardless of their motivations."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai