Anti-Muslim Filmmaker May Be Coptic Christian in California
With protests mounting in the Middle East in response to the anti-Muslim film released by "Sam Bacile," there's obviously been much focus on trying to figure out who this Bacile character is, if he even exists. (As at least a few people have pointed out, M. (Monsieur) Bacile could be a clevel alias.) The AP now claims to have potentially identified Bacile, or at least someone who was deeply involved in the production of the film -- a Coptic Christian man in California who's been convicted of financial crimes:
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told The Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles that he was manager for the company that produced "Innocence of Muslims," which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad and may have caused inflamed mobs that attacked U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya. He provided the first details about a shadowy production group behind the film.
Nakoula denied he directed the film and said he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile. But the cell phone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula's aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others.
In other news related to the film, the San Gabriel Valley Tribunereports that the film may have been produced at a Duarte, California-based nonprofit called Media for Christ and filmed at a studio in Santa Clarita.