Early Saturday morning, anti-Islamic filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula — the man behind the hate flick that touched off protests around the world — voluntarily partook in a federal authority questioning.
The interview, which also included his probation officer, was supposedly an investigative questioning into whether Nakoula violated the terms of his probation, which specifies that he cannot access the Internet nor utilize any device that can access the Internet without specific allowance from his probation officer.
Nakoula was not arrested, nor detained, at the Cerritos, California, police substation, and video of the most-wanted man shows the filmmaker’s face engulfed in a white scarf on his way to the questioning. He was allowed to leave on his own accord.
So where is Nakoula now?
He and his family left their Cerritos home, which has been swarmed with media outlets, this Monday morning to go into hiding while federal probation officers are reviewing whether or not he violated his probation terms by uploading the clips of the hate film onto YouTube.
In 2010, after being convicted on federal bank charges, he was ordered to stay away from computer devices for five years. Uploading a video onto YouTube would be a violation of that order.
The LA Times is reporting that Nakoula fears for his and his family’s lives (duh) but is maintaining contact with L.A. County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore at an undisclosed location while the investigation continues.
With protests of the film only growing and spreading in scope, it might behoove the U.S. Courts to send Nakoula back to prison, for violating his probation, in an effort to help quell the worldwide violence that has even spread to Australia.
It seems evident that he certainly did violate his probation, as even if he did not upload the videos himself, the terms also restrict anyone accessing the Internet on his behalf.
This begs the question though: Are we about to jail a man over an expression of free speech just to suppress the absurd, extremist backlash to his piss-poor American movie?
If not for the widespread controversy, would the U.S. Courts system have even batted an eye at his YouTube uploads?
My guess is no.