While Innocence Of Muslims producer Mark Basseley Youssef, aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, sits in a Los Angeles jail awaiting a Nov. 9 probation violation hearing, the fallout from his anti-Islam video continues. The leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over after the death of Osama bin Laden last year, has praised last month’s attacks in Cairo and Benghazi which were spurred on by the crudely-made film and has called for more protests outside U.S. embassies, Reuters reports. Four U.S. diplomats were killed in the Libyan violence including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. In a recording posted to Islamist websites today, Zawahiri called the violence “honest and zealous,” according to The Guardian. Zawahiri further called on “free and distinguished zealots for Islam” to “continue their opposition to American crusader Zionist aggression against Islam and Muslims.”
After the Cairo and Benghazi attacks, deadly protests of the film that lampoons the Prophet Mohammad spread throughout the Muslim world over a two-week period. Zawahiri said U.S. authorities “permitted the film in the name of personal freedom and freedom of expression… but this freedom did not prevent them from torturing Muslim prisoners” in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Washington condemned the film, calling it “disgusting” and “reprehensible,” but stopped short of a ban in the name of the U.S. Constitution’s protection of free speech. Authorities believe the 9/11 storming of diplomatic facilities in Benghazi was a “deliberate and organized terrorist attack” and are said to be investigating whether Al Qaeda-linked militants were involved.