Deputies Called to Cerritos Home of Suspected Anti-Islam Filmmaker

A 15-minute video produced in Southern California is being blamed for sparking deadly unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Continued violent unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is being blamed on a low-budget film produced in Southern California that depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a child molester and a thug. The mystery filmmaker behind the 15-minute video is believed to live in suburban Cerritos, and neighbors say added media attention has them concerned. Vikki Vargas reports from Cerritos for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2012.

    Deputies on Thursday continued to patrol a Cerritos cul de sac where the suspected filmmaker behind the 15-minute video being blamed for violent unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is purported to live.

    Officials say the measures are preventative, prompted by the homeowner’s request for stepped up security after media descended on the area Wednesday night.

    "There was no disturbance, no crime. We came out about 8:45 p.m. with three patrol cars," said Steve Whitmore with the LA County Sheriff’s Dept.

    It is an unlikely location for ground zero: a two-story home in suburban Cerritos. Outside, three cars are parked as if they were abandoned, clothes and prescriptions left in disarray.

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    Islamic civil rights leaders say the death of Christopher Stevens in Libya intended to create chaos and blame a group that actually holds U.S. ambassadors in high regard. Muzammil Siddiqi with the Islamic Society of Orange County says in Islamic law, ambassadors have immunity from violence no whether they are agreed with or not. Vikki Vargas reports from Anaheim’s Little Arabia for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2012.

    On the porch there is a statue of the Virgin Mary. The front door has no door knob and several knocks throughout the day were unanswered.

    Neighbors say they know little about the family at the end of their street but the added attention is making them uneasy.

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    Tim Dax says he thought he was playing Samson in a project titled "Desert Warriors," but the 15-minute video posted to YouTube was dubbed and transformed without his knowledge into an anti-Islam piece that's being blamed for violent protests in Libya and Egypt. Dax says he learned of his role in the controversy from a neighbor while out walking his dogs.

    "Yeah, I have concerns. We have families and children and a school down the street. Yes, it’s a concern," neighbor Ulonda Cooper.

    Others find it hard to believe the apparent genesis of an international attack might be living only a few doors away.

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    A low-budget film being blamed for sparking violence in Libya and Egypt was produced in Southern California and screened in Hollywood. An actress in the film says she signed on for a project about Libya 2,000 years ago, and alleges the piece was transformed in post-production to be an anti-Islam film. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2012.

    “I would just feel so uncomfortable. I never see the guy, he just comes and goes, never see him,” said Khalin Tucker.

    Property records show the house is owned by Nakoula Besseley Nakoula, the man suspected of being behind the inflammatory anti-Islam film "The Innocence of the Muslims."

    Actors in the 15-minute video say they thought they were cast in an Arabian Desert action flick, and allege any anti-Islamic sentiments were dubbed in post-production without their knowledge or consent (video below).

    The movie is being blamed for prompting an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others.

    Self-described consultant Steven Klein said the mystery producer -- who he says goes by the pseudonym Sam Bassiel -- wanted him to fact check the production, adding that he feels "no guilt" for the violence it apparently spurred (video below).

    "I have no blood on my hand," Klein said. "I feel no guilt. If I tell the truth and they go out and murder, the guilt and shame is on their head, not me."

    On Thursday, Klein told NBC4 that threats have compelled him to leave his Hemet neighborhood.