Who is Sam Bacile? The man behind the hack film reel portraying Muhammad as a decrepit fool and Muslims as homicidal child molesters and homosexual donkeys? The filmmaker whose “Innocence of Muslims” incensed and inflamed thousands across the Arab world? The man without whom we would not be mourning the death of a courageous American like Chris Stevens?
The Associated Press has apparently found him. It’s a 55 year-old man from Cerritos, California, named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
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.
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.
Here’s the case for the connection:
1.) Sam Bacile’s cell phone traces to Nakoula’s address. It’s possible this is an arrangement of billing or that they’re roommates. But then . .
2,) Nakoula’s middle name is “Basseley.” Bacile and Basseley are homonyms.
3.) Nakoula tried to conceal the fact his middle name is essentially “Bacile.” He obscured the name “Basseley” with his thumb when he showed his driver’s license to the AP.
4.) He’s a Coptic Christian. In the film clip, Coptic Christians are victims of Muslims.
5.) He’s a man with multiple aliases, including Nicola Bacily.
6.) He’s a convicted fraudster.
Nakoula, who talked guardedly about his role, pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer. . .
It was “basically a check-kiting scheme,” the prosecutor told the AP. “You try to get the money out of the bank before the bank realizes they are drawn from a fraudulent account. There basically is no money.”
Amy Sterling Casil at PolicyMic is betting the “film” is Nakoula’s latest scam:
The casting notice for the film is viewable online, listing Sam Bassiel, Producer, and Alan Roberts, Director. The trailer’s costume designer lists Abanob Nakoula and Sam Basselley as co-producers. There are many Alan Roberts on IMDb, but none are active directors with anything like this film listed.
Performers and creative crew for the 14-minute film say they were duped. The casting call is for a film called “Desert Warrior,” and the main male character is named “George.” The 80-member cast and crew has told news outlets they performed in an “Arabic Desert adventure film.” They report that the lines they performed were not about Mohammed or Islam. It is obvious from the film trailer that the offensive and bizarre dialog is poorly-dubbed over the original performers.
Whether it’s Nicola Bacily, Sam Bassiel, Sam Basselley, or Sam Bacile, it’s Nakoula.
Meanwhile, protests at the Sana embassy in Yemen have turned violent:
Groups of protesters nearing 1,000 people thick at certain places have circled the US Embassy, creating multiple demonstrations. The demonstrators managed to breach the area past the main gate at the embassy’s main gate, but were stopped at the security perimeter.
“Smoke is rising, they just flooded the security barriers. [There are] no casualties. [There is] shooting. It’s crazy,” a Yemeni official told ABC News.