The man who made the controversial film that ridiculed Prophet Muhammad has gone into hiding with his family in a desperate bid to escape death.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, sent a passionate appeal to American security seeking protection folowing death threats he received after the release of the film’s trailer sparked riots last week Tuesday in Libya and Egypt before spreading to about a dozen countries.
American security authorities quoted him as saying that he was “scared to death” about the safety of himself and his family, according to ABC News.
Nakoula had disappeared from his California home and gone into hiding after being interviewed late Friday night by US federal probation officers about his role in the creation of the film. The man who used the pseudonym Sam Bacile and claimed to be a Jew, has been unmasked as an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian and an ex-convict. He told authorities during his questioning that that he and his son, Abanob Basseley, 21, were responsible for producing the movie entitled Innocence of Muslims at a cost of $50,000 to $60,000, which he claimed came from his wife’s family in Egypt.
Nakoula’s family members fled their home early Monday morning to join him in hiding.
Their faces covered, they were escorted into police vehicles by officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shortly before 4 a.m.
“They decided they would be safer where they could move about and live a normal life,” said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department. “All we did was pick them up and reunite them with Mr. Nakoula.”
Whitmore said the family’s current whereabouts are unknown to him, and it was his understanding that they won’t ever return to their Cerritos house, though that decision was “entirely up to the family.”
“What we do know and what they told me is that for the time now and for the immediate future, for the weeks and months to come, they will not be returning to this address,” Whitmore said.
Jungle Journalist reports that at least ten people have lost their lives in the protests trailing Nakoula’s film, among them the US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other diplomats during an attack on the American mission in Benghazi, Kibya.