CERRITOS, Calif. -- Federal authorities have identified a Coptic Christian living in Cerritos, who is on probation after his conviction for financial crimes, as the key figure behind the anti-Muslim film that ignited mob violence against U.S. embassies across the Mideast.
Authorities say Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, is behind "Innocence of Muslims," a film that denigrated Islam and the prophet Muhammad and sparked protests earlier this week in Egypt, Libya and most recently in Yemen.
Nakoula admitted his role in the film after seeking help from law enforcement in dealing with death threats he has received since the release of the film.
On Friday, sheriff's deputies escorted attorneys to the Nakoula's home.
Two men, a heavyset man with a mustache and a black-haired man wearing a dark suit, got out of the car and entered the home.
Deputies formed a cordon to escort the men to the front door and to protect them from about 10 news cameras.
According to ABC News Nakoula told them he had written the script while he was in prison.
He claims he and his son, Abanob Basseley, 21, were responsible for producing the movie which, he reportedly said, cost between $50,000 and $60,000 and was shot in a little over 12 days.
Authorities say he claimed the money for the movie came from his wife's family in Egypt.
Nakoula was convicted of intent to manufacture methamphetamine in the 1990s, and also served time in federal prison on bank fraud charges, where he told authorities he wrote the script.
Authorities say that in making the film Nakoula may have violated of the terms of his probation.
Nakoula was convicted on bank fraud charges and warned against misbehaving on the Internet, said U.S. Courts spokeswoman Karen Redmond.
He was ordered not to own or use devices with access to the Web without approval from his probation officer and any approved computers were to be used for work only. "Defendant shall not access a computer for any other purpose," the terms read.
There were also restrictions placed on him enlisting others to get on the Internet for him.
A spokesman for the U.S. Probation and Parole Office could not be reached Thursday about whether Nakoula may have violated those terms after the film trailer was loaded onto YouTube.
Nakoula had been arrested in 2009 after federal agents searched his home in Cerritos on suspicion that he had engaged in a scheme to create fake identities and open credit cards in those names, then draw tens of thousands of dollars from the phony accounts.
According to the court file, Nakoula operated under a dizzying array of aliases, including Kritbag Difrat.
In June 2010, he was convicted on four counts, including bank fraud and identity theft, and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.
He was also ordered to pay $794,700.57 in restitution.
He was released, according to federal records, in June 2011.
He was also convicted in 1997 of possession of ephedrine and hydriodic acid, materials commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, according to court records.
Authorities testified that Nakoula was transporting pills from a storage facility in Downey to Lake Elsinore.
Filmmaker Meets With Attorneys, Says He Wrote Anti-Islam Script in Prison
U.S. intelligence bulletin says film "poses security concerns" at home and abroad.
"Innocence of Muslims" film (YouTube / September 14, 2012)