The family of the producer of Innocence of Muslims joined him in hiding Monday as more cast members of the film that outraged the Islamic world insisted they had been duped into making it.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Copt and fraudster who was sentenced to 21 months in prison in June 2010, has not been seen since Saturday when he was questioned by his parole officer.
Before dawn on Monday, officers from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department escorted four members of Nakoula’s family out of their home to be driven in unmarked police vehicles to an undisclosed location to join him.
The risks now facing those involved in the production of the film, which depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a thuggish womaniser, were underlined when more threats emerged from the Middle East.
Nakoula’s family concealed their faces as they left their home in the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos. Local website Patch, in its Cerritos edition, identified the four as Nakoula’s wife, his two sons and a daughter.
“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, quoted by ABC News.