* Al Qaeda calls Internet film part of "crusader wars"
* Sudan turns down U.S. request to send Marines
* Man questioned in California
DUBAI, Sept 15 A wave of furious anti-Western
protests against a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad abated a
little on Saturday, but U.S. policy in the Muslim world remained
overshadowed by 13 minutes of amateurish video on the Internet.
Riot police stormed into Cairo's Tahrir Square and rounded
up hundreds of people early on Saturday after four days of
clashes and demands from protesters for the U.S. ambassador to
Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority denounced the
attacks on diplomats and embassies across the Middle East as
In contrast, the Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda applauded
the killings of U.S. diplomats in Libya and urged Muslims to
kill more, calling the video posted on the Internet another
chapter in the "crusader wars" against Islam.
A California man convicted of bank fraud, who has denied
reports that he was involved in the film's production, was taken
in for questioning by officers investigating possible probation
violations stemming from the making of the film.
Afghanistan's Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack
on a base that killed two American Marines, saying it was a
response to the insults to the founder of Islam.
And hundreds of Muslims took to the streets of Australia's
largest city, some throwing rocks and bottles in clashes with
police. Some carried placards reading "Behead all those who
insult the Prophet".
Saturday was, however, relatively calm after at least nine
deaths in the Muslim world on Friday during protests and attacks
on American and other Western embassies.
President Barack Obama, leading a ceremony on Friday to
honour the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans
who died in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept.
11, vowed to "stand fast" against the violence.
"The United States will never retreat from the world," he
said. The Pentagon rushed to bolster security at missions
Libyan authorities said they had identified 50 people who
were involved in the attack in which ambassador Christopher
Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al
al-Sheikh, denounced the attacks while urging governments and
international bodies to criminalise insults against prophets.
He described the short film as "miserable" and "criminal",
but said attacks on the innocent and on diplomats were "a
distortion of the Islamic religion and are not accepted by God".
The video, circulating on the Internet under several titles
including "Innocence of Muslims", portrays Mohammad as a
womaniser and a fool.
"We were attacked by Obama, and his government, and the
Coptic Christians living abroad!" shouted one long-bearded
Muslim protester outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Friday.
In the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos, Nakoula Basseley
Nakoula, 55, who has denied involvement in the film in a phone
call to a Coptic Christian bishop, was ushered out of his home
and into a waiting car by sheriff's deputies, his face shielded
by a scarf, hat and sunglasses.
"He will be interviewed by federal probation officers," a
police spokesman said. "He was never put in handcuffs ... It was
U.S. officials have said authorities are not investigating
the film project itself, and that even if it was inflammatory or
led to violence, simply producing it cannot be considered a
crime in the United States, which has strong free speech laws.
A statement posted on a website used by Al Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula on Saturday called on Muslims to "follow the
example of Omar al-Mukhtar's descendants ( L ibyans), who killed
the American ambassador".
"Let the step of kicking out the embassies be a step towards
liberating Muslim countries from the American hegemony," the
Yemen-based group said.
Hundreds of mourners in the Yemeni capital Sanaa attended
the funeral on Saturday of a young protester shot dead when riot
police battled a crowd attacking the U.S. embassy on Thursday.
Marine reinforcements have been hastily dispatched to the
U.S. missions in Yemen and other countries since the unrest
erupted. But Sudan said on Saturday it was turning down
Washington's request to send more troops.