The man whose controversial movie "Innocence of Muslims" sparked angry anti-American protests across the Islamic world was protected overnight by police outside his California home.
Soon after media reports named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula as the creator of the 14-minute trailer that denigrates the prophet Muhammad, Los Angeles county sheriff's deputies were deployed to his Cerritos home.
Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian, told police that he fears for his life and his family's safety, according to ABC News.
Deputies showed up after the homeowner complained about an alleged disturbance in the neighborhood, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Although his address has been distributed online, police are no longer at the home. The LA Times said there were cars parked outside the home in an affluent neighborhood, but no one answered the door. Dozens of members of the news media congregated nearby.
The Duarte office for Media for Christ, a company linked to the film, will also get periodic checks by the police, the Contra Costa Times reported.
The identity of the filmmaker was shrouded in mystery earlier this week. In earlier interviews with the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal, a man calling himself Sam Bacile and posing as a real-estate developer originally from Israel said he put the movie together with $5 million from Jewish investors. He told the AP that he'd gone into hiding when he saw the reaction the offensive film elicited.
There was scant evidence of anyone really named Sam Basile working in Southern California. Nor could Israeli authorities find any records of him. The AP says the cellphone number used by Basile is registerred to Nakoula's address.
The trailer for "Innocence of Muslims," which appeared on YouTube in July, portrays Muhammad as a homosexual, philanderer and pedophile. It's been cited as a motive for the demonstrations outside U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt, Sudan and Yemen, among other locations.