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Afghan offers bounty for anti-Islam filmmaker

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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AP) - A religious cleric in western Afghanistan said Wednesday he is offering a $300,000 bounty to anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film that has angered Muslims around the world.

Mir Farooq Hussini, a cleric and the spokesman for an organization representing about 450 religious schools in Herat province, made the latest bounty offer.

U.S. federal prosecutors said Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, an Egyptian-born Christian who is now a U.S. citizen, is behind the film, which portrays Islam's Prophet Muhammad as a religious fraud, womanizer and child molester.

The film led to violence last month, causing the deaths of more than 50 people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Hussini called the movie maker a "dirty person."

At least three names have been associated with Youssef in the past several weeks. U.S. court documents show Youssef legally changed his name from Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in 2002, but never told federal authorities, who used that as part of the probation violation case against him.

Youssef used a third name, Sam Bacile, in association with the film.

Last month the Pakistan Taliban offered a bounty of $100,000 for killing the filmmaker. A Pakistani Cabinet minister made a similar offer, but it was disavowed by his government. Also, a former Pakistani legislator put forth a $200,000 reward.

Hussini said he also is offering a $500,000 reward for the killing of Mehdi Daneshmand, a cleric in Yazd province in neighboring Iran. Hussini has alleged that the cleric insulted Muhammad's wife.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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