Social media websites are flush with death threats for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the newly unmasked 55-year-old filmmaker behind the anti-Islam film that is being blamed for nearly a week of violent unrest in the Middle East.
Nakoula was detained briefly over the weekend in California after federal officials questioned whether the production of the film violated the terms of his probation, which stemmed from a 2010 arrest for bank fraud. In response to security concerns, law enforcement kept him under heavy guard during his transport to a local police station.
“Insallah [God willing], we will kill him,” one Facebook user, Shayan Khan, wrote from Karachi, Pakistan.
Some YouTube users envisioned particularly imaginative demises for Nakoula in the comments section of a video related to his detention.
“I wanna torture him with a shot [to] his knee cap, then blow his eyes with [a] knife, take a chain saw and cut his penis, then a hot rod would be given to his ass, then kill him until he is hanged till death,” funkyfolk1110 wrote. “Kill this bastard,” said another user.
On Twitter, a user named Yayan E. Putra posted, “Fuck Nakoula Basseley, i want to kill you!!!” The message starkly contrasted with Putra’s brief Twitter profile, which stated simply, “A smile is the little thing that can make life easier.”
“Someone please kill him,” agreed Nelson Davis, a retired market researcher living in New York, who earlier on Sunday invited his Twitter followers to “Choose your free Obama sticker!”
“If extremists have a problem with Egyptian-American convicted felon/filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, kill him, not other innocent people,” reasoned another Twitter user.
Many called for censorship instead of violence. On the social petition website Change.org, nearly 5,000 users called on governments worldwide to ban the distribution of “Innocence of Muslims.”