Who Is Sam Bacile?

The short answer is, he doesn’t exist.

He’s a pseudonym, a contrivance, a vehicle to stir up hatred, I have detailed it elsewhere, but the ADL does a much better job:

“The anti-Islam film that has sparked con­sid­er­able out­rage and vio­lence across the Mid­dle East and Islamic world appears to be a prod­uct of sev­eral Chris­t­ian anti-Muslim activists.


Although the false claim that the film Inno­cence of Mus­lims was the work of an “Israeli Jew” received wide­spread atten­tion in the U.S. and abroad, recent reports indi­cate that the film was cre­ated, pro­duced and pro­moted by indi­vid­u­als con­nected to a net­work of anti-Muslim organizations.

Nakoula Bas­se­ley Nakoula, a 55-year-old California-based Cop­tic Chris­t­ian, appears to be the one respon­si­ble for cre­at­ing the impres­sion that the film was cre­ated and sup­ported by Jews. Accord­ing to Amer­i­can offi­cials in an inter­view with the Arabic-language tele­vi­sion sta­tion Al Hurra, Nakoula is the alleged pro­ducer and film­maker of the anti-Islam film. Nakoula ini­tially exposed his role to inter­na­tional media under the pseu­do­nym Sam Bacile, a fic­ti­tious indi­vid­ual that the Asso­ci­ated Press had ini­tially reported was “an Israeli film­maker based in Cal­i­for­nia.” In the inter­view with the AP, Nakoula, speak­ing under a pseu­do­nym, said the film cost $5 mil­lion to make “and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jew­ish donors.” These claims have since been dis­proved with the rev­e­la­tion that Sam Bacile does not exist.

Steve Klein is a California-based anti-Muslim Chris­t­ian activist and for­mer U.S. Marine who claims that he pro­vided con­sult­ing ser­vices for the pro­duc­tion of Inno­cence of Mus­lims. In a recent inter­view fol­low­ing the out­break of vio­lence in Cairo and Beng­hazi, Klein described the film as being designed to spark out­rage. In addi­tion to his alleged role in the film’s tech­ni­cal pro­duc­tion, Klein is founder and board mem­ber of Coura­geous Chris­tians United (CCU), an orga­ni­za­tion that protests out­side of mosques, abor­tion clin­ics and Mor­mon tem­ples. CCU issued a state­ment today denounc­ing the film and indi­cat­ing that Klein had been removed from the board. Many of the links on the group’s web­site redi­rect read­ers to sites designed to con­vince Mus­lims, Mor­mons or Jehovah’s Wit­nesses to con­vert to Chris­tian­ity. Klein is also the founder of Con­cerned Cit­i­zens for the First Amend­ment (CCFA), an anti-Muslim group whose pri­mary ini­tia­tive is to warn high school stu­dents that they are being brain­washed through courses and les­son on Islamic his­tory. He has spo­ken at con­fer­ences on the sub­ject of Islam at the Church at Kaweah, a mil­i­tant Chris­t­ian church base in California. “

Update 1: Spiegel follows up:

“After the protests began, sources leaked a phone number to the Associated Press news agency. When reporters dialed the number, a man answered who claimed to be Sam Bacile, the film’s director. “Islam is a cancer,” he said, adding that he was an Israeli Jew who wanted to spread the truth about Islam. Some 100 Jews had donated money to the project, he said, supposedly to the tune of $5 million. Anyone who says something like that is not only willing to accept a few deaths; he is, at least in the eyes of many Muslims, also getting the state of Israel involved.

But the journalists felt that there was something about his story that didn’t add up. They found the address that corresponds to the man’s cell phone number. The man who came to the door in a cul-de-sac in Cerritos near Los Angeles denied being Bacile. He said that he was only responsible for managing the film team’s logistics, and showed them his driver’s license, but covered his middle name with one of his fingers. The journalists were able to read Nakoula Nakoula — and the rest was research. They found out that Nakoula was convicted of federal bank fraud charges in 2010. He was given a 21-month prison sentence and ordered to pay $790,000 (€600,000) in restitution.

Now, the reporters knew that his real name was Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian from Egypt with US citizenship. According to police records, he maintains at least 14 aliases. “Basseley” sounds almost like “Bacile”. US investigators believe that Sam Bacile, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and the director are one and the same person.

Update 2: Also, my previous posts Anti-Islam Film, The Truth Emerges and Anti-Islamic Film, Who, What and Where?

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