In his first public comments since his incarceration soon after the video gained international attention in September, Mr. Nakoula told The New York Times that he would go to great lengths to convey what he called “the actual truth” about Muhammad. “I thought, before I wrote this script,” he said, “that I should burn myself in a public square to let the American people and the people of the world know this message that I believe in.”
He was jailed for bank fraud after a previous stint for drugs.
…Coptic Church officials said they considered Mr. Nakoula an unlikely candidate for the kind of religious zeal behind “Innocence of Muslims” because he had attended services so infrequently. But Mr. Nakoula said fervor and witnessing persecution are what drove him to create the film.
Mr. Nakoula agreed last month to be interviewed by The Times at the Metropolitan Detention Center here, where he has been held since his September arrest. But the warden refused to allow the interview.
In his written responses to questions, Mr. Nakoula reeled off “atrocities” by Muslims that went back many years and formed his views, focusing on shootings, a bombing and the torture of his fellow Copts. After the Fort Hood massacre, in which an Army psychiatrist with ties to Muslim extremism has been charged, “I became even more upset and enraged,” he said.