Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is Sam Bacile: Claims Role in Movie, Innocence of Muslims, That Sparked Deadly Libyan Consulate Attack
UPDATE 2: From the Associated Press:
"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 cellphone 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.
"Nakoula told the AP that he was a Coptic Christian and said the film's director supported the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims.
Nakoula denied he had posed as Bacile. During a conversation outside his home, he offered his driver's license to show his identity but kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley. Records checks by the AP subsequently found it and other connections to the Bacile persona."
UPDATE 1: The Facebook page belonging to "Sam Bassel" has been taken down, either by the account holder or by Facebook.
As news organizations scramble to find out the real identity of "Sam Bacile," -- the alleged filmmaker behind the anti-Islamic movie, The Innocence of Muslims, a recently created Facebook page may, and here I must stress may, offer some insight into the origins of the film.
It had orginally been reported that the movie had been made by Egyptian Coptic Christians in the United States associated with Morris Sadek., but this was quickly replaced by reports that the Quran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones was behind the movie. That hypothesis too was shunted aside, after it was reported that Jones had merely promoted the film and had nothing to do with its production. Finally, the current reigning theory is that a man using the pseudonym "Sam Bacile" is behind the movie. The Associated Press reportedly spoke with "Bacile" via telephone:
"The filmmaker, who identified himself in a telephone interview with The Associated Press as Sam Bacile, said he is an Israeli-born, Jewish writer and director of 'Innocence of Muslims.' Bacile was the name used to publish excerpts of the movie online as early as July 2."
It is now believed that "Sam Bacile" is a pseudonym, and that he is not an Israeli as had been desrcibed.
There was until Wednesday a Facebook page (since deleted) belonging to a "Sam Bassel," that described the account owner as a "movie-maker" in Hollywood, California. The first activity on the account is dated September 7, and is a comment in Arabic on a Facebook post about Terry Jones:
A crude Google Chrome translation of the text reads:
Several Facebook friends of "Bassel" appear to be figures within the Coptic Christian community, including Abba Seraphim El-Suriani, Head of the British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria.
Another post on the page of "Bassel" leads to an essay supposedly written by Mohamed Yousry, the former translator for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egpytian cleric serving a life sentence in the U.S. after being convited in 1996 of plotting terrorist attacks. Yousry himself was later convicted in 2006 of providing material support to terrorism and served prison time. He was released in April 2011.
More details as they come.