Deceptions Behind the Making of “Innocence of Muslims”

First off, the Associated Press has apparently discovered who “Sam Bacile” really is.  Via Slate:

It looks like the Associated Press has solved the mystery of who was behind the anti-Islam film believed to have sparked this week’s violent protests at U.S. missions in Egypt, Libya and throughout the Middle East.

That man is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian with a criminal past who lives in California, according to the news wire’s digging, which has been backed up by a federal law enforcement official.

In an interview with the AP, Nakoula admitted to providing logistical support for the production of Innocence of Muslims but denied being “Sam Bacile,” the name given as the film’s maker. But the evidence cobbled together by AP reporters Gillian Flaccus and Stephen Braun suggests otherwise.

The AP was one of a handful of media outlets to publish an interview early Wednesday with a man who claimed to be Bacile. Reporters traced the cell phone number used during that interview to Nakoula’s address and, once there, noticed that Nakoula covered up his middle name of “Basseley” with his thumb when displaying his driver’s license.

A little more digging on the part of Flaccus and Braun led to the discovery that Nakoula pleaded no contest in 2010 to bank fraud charges, had used numerous aliases in the past, and had a number of connections to the Bacile persona. An unnamed U.S. law enforcement later confirmed to the AP that they had the right man.

Religion Dispatch‘s Sarah Posner  appears to have been the first reporter to raise doubts about Bacile’s on Wednesday, noting that the man who spoke with the media gave conflicting details about himself.

Over the course of the day those doubts grew, with reporters noting that despite a claim that the film cost $5 million—which “Bacile” claimed to have raised from a hundred Israeli donors—it had comically poor production value.

A 13-minute trailer for the film portrays Mohammad as a pedophile-appeasing, bumbling spreader of false doctrine. Notably, as On the Media spotted, all of the more controversial lines in the trailer were dubbed in later, apparently to keep the film’s actors and crew from knowing what they were working on.

More on that aspect from CNN:

A casting call published in July 2011 in Backstage magazine and in other publications for actors identifies the working title of the movie as “Desert Warrior” and describes it as a “historical Arabian Desert adventure film.”

An actress in the film who asked not to be identified said the original script did not include a Prophet Muhammed character. She added that she and other actors complained that their lines had been changed.

The actress said she spoke Wednesday with the producer, who is identified in the advertisement as Sam Bassiel. “He said he wrote the script because he wants the Muslims to quit killing,” she said. “I had no idea he was doing all this.”

“I would never be involved in a film to ever hurt or bring harm to anybody,” she told CNN. “This makes me sick to my stomach to think that I was involved in that movie that brought death to somebody else.”

The actress said the character of Muhammed in the movie was identified as George when it was shot, and that she returned afterward and read other lines that may have been dubbed into the piece.

A member of the production staff who worked directly on the film and has a copy of the original script corroborated the actor’s account, adding that it mentions neither Muhammed nor Islam.The Wall Street Journal identified the filmmaker as Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American real estate developer. The Journal reported that, in its telephone interview with Bacile, he characterized his film as “a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam.”

“Islam is a cancer,” he told the newspaper. “The movie is a political movie. It’s not a religious movie.”

CNN has not been able to contact Bacile and cannot verify that he made the movie. A CNN search of public records on Sam Bacile came up empty.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it doesn’t know who Bacile is.

Now we know why.  He’s not a Jew, he’s a Christian.

21 Comments on "Deceptions Behind the Making of “Innocence of Muslims”"

  1. So now the mainstream press has ‘outed’ the filmmaker – effectively marking him for death, and why?  Did he murder our Ambassador in Libya?  

  2. The filmmaker put the members of my circle in harms way. He should never have lied to the actors and placed their lives in danger. I personally know the actress and she is terrified and heartbroken. Screw him he knew what he was doing and how it would be recieved by the muslim community. He wanted this outrage and violence. You are a fool if you believe otherwise

    • John Wilkes Booth | Sep 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

      While he should not have lied, the pointing out of how fucking retarded muslims are is justified. Look how silly these fucking people are, killing over nothing. Fucking crybabies. Religion needs to be eradicated, pointing out the stupidity of it while help accelerate that process. 

      • John Wilkes Booth | Sep 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

        Will not while

      • Coiled Embrace | Sep 14, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

        Knock Knock…

        “…Who’s there?”
        “…Zyklon-B who?”
        “Zyklon-B seeing ya in the showers!”

        Fucking crybabies.

        • John Wilkes Booth | Sep 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm |

          I might have misinterpreted what you’re getting at so please correct me if that’s the case, but are you comparing pointing out the stupidity of killing people/setting fires because someone made fun of your guy to genocide?  

      • You are as big of a sheep as they all are. Oh look at me! I”M AM INDIVIDUAL. We all follow something/someone even if we dont want to be seen that way. Plenty of Retarded Christians, Athiest, Agnostics.. Stupid comes in every size, shape, and color. Anyone who follows an idea to the exclusion of all others is an idiot.

      • Terry? Is that you?

  3. When I was a kid, I just loved to throw gasoline on the fire…

    Maybe I still do…

  4. More intriguing is the possibility that he is or has been an operative on behalf of people looking to widen the conflict. We already know that the protests were used to shield militants who struck once the confusion was underway. Given ‘Bacile” and his criminal past…its possible he was a paid operative who produced the vehicle by which these attacks were made possible.

  5. this whole thing reeks with the stench of CIA

    •  “During planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group kicked around a number of ideas for discrediting Saddam Hussein in the eyes of his people.

      One was to create a video purporting to show the Iraqi dictator
      having sex with a teenage boy, according to two former CIA officials
      familiar with the project…

      The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden
      and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and
      savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers
      recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of
      us darker-skinned employees,” he said.”

      • the CIA had a film production studio in Laural Canyon back in the day
        it’s still around somewhere or maybe outsourced by now

        a brief glimpse of the film shows obvious amamture techniques

      • BrianApocalypse | Sep 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

         The most effective propaganda they could ever have created would have been to capture Bin Laden alive and treat him to the most indulgent luxuries western culture has to offer. We should have broadcast Bin Laden sitting by a Las Vegas pool, sipping cocktails and surrounded by bikini-glad girls while being serenaded by Whitney Houston (whom he was obsessed with), telling the world that he’d abandoned his former ways in favor of Western decadence!

    • Infvocuernos | Sep 15, 2012 at 1:32 am |

       I’m waiting to hear reports of someone matching Sam Bacile’s discription going into the soviet embassy in Mexico City at the exact moment of this interview. 

      I know its hoping too much, but I’d like to think that the CIA would have much better production values than a 1970’s kid’s show.  I mean hell, I saw a baby trying to sell me on E-Trading- the least they could do is make a descent cartoon.

      • > I’d like to think that the CIA would have much better production values than a 1970’s kid’s show

        that’s what gave it away to me
        it was TOO MUCH like a 1970’s kid’s show
        which is part of the psyop
        this one’s an eleven

        they may not know how to stop trouble
        but they sure know how to start it

  6. David Howe | Sep 15, 2012 at 11:22 am |

    Does anyone else think that perhaps the protests are about something else?  Perhaps about decades – centuries? – of Western oppression and theft?  To suggest that entire nations of people are vulnerable to a crappy little film is to infantile them.  How imperialistic.

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