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Mystery shrouds identity of anti-Islam film's producer

As angry demonstrations continue over controversial short movie, the identity of film's director – reportedly a US-Israeli dual-national – remains ambiguous

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Sep 2012
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Questions continue to surround the identity of the director of the film that has sparked widespread anger across the Muslim world due to its offensive portrayal of the Prophet Mohamed.

The film, which went viral earlier this week on YouTube, depicts Islam's prophet as a womaniser and child abuser.

The precise origins of the contentious film, however, remain unclear.

Initially, the roughly 13-minute film – entitled Innocence of Muslims– was thought to have been made by US-based Coptic-Christian activists and promoted by firebrand US pastor Terry Jones, already notorious for his frequent calls for mass burnings of Muslim holy book the Quran.

However, on Wednesday, reports emerged that the film had beenproduced by US-Israeli dual-national filmmaker Sam Bacile, reportedly a California-based real estate developer.

Bacile himself has refrained from issuing any statements to the press. But Steve Kelin, who reportedly worked on the film as a "consultant," told AP on Wednesday that Bacile, fearing for his safety, had gone into hiding.   

Yet another round of reports, which emerged on Wednesday and Thursday, seemed to suggest that 'Bacile' was a pseudonym used by a California-based Egyptian Coptic-Christian by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, according to a report by AP.

Nakoula, 55, has admitted that he had managed logistics for the company that produced the film. According to AP, Nakoula was convicted of bank fraud in 2010 in California, for which he was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay a $790,000 fine.

It also reportedly emerged in the 2010 court case that Nakoula had frequently employed pseudonyms to hide his identity.      

Meanwhile, controversy continues to mount over the offensive film, with ongoing demonstrations – of varying degrees of intensity – seen in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

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LarryAt 27N
14-09-2012 04:18am
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Who should apologize?
Hey Amir, how about the Egyptian government apologizing to all Jews in the world for permitting the production and television broadcast of a movie depicting the famously-false "Blood Libel" charge against the Jewish people. That was surely accomplished with the permission of the Egyptian government. I won't hold my breath waiting for the apology.
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Dalou
14-09-2012 05:20pm
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Apologies
not "all Jews in the world " are Zionists. Jews who dont support Zionisme are called "self-hating Jews". Zionist have a lot to apologise for !!
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Dina
14-09-2012 02:56am
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Ignorant
Today an Egyptian man was on TV saying that the US government had to have known about the film, and that is why they are to blame. Such a moron.I think the US is a little preoccupied with more pressing issues than a no-name film that no one has ever heard of till now. This film was not going to be released in cinemas or on TV. The original fim is not even about Islam, it was recorded over to say things about the Prophet and its so obvious. It was a cheap stupid movie with no name actors and producers. No way would anyone in the goverment have heard of this film until you stupid people used it as an excuse to create chaos. The whole world thinks you are crazy, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. You do not even care about Mohamed (PBUH). You are just using him as an excuse and that makes you just as bad.
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Mona
13-09-2012 10:50pm
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To Bonks
My reply was for you..not Amir!
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amir
13-09-2012 06:52pm
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hypocriate
well any thing can be said against Islam in west in name of freedom of speech knowing fully what will happen next , i guess west enjoys this moments , U S is fully responsible for the death of Mr Christopher Stevens , my deepest condolence to his family, well if such things we said against Jews the whole of west would have banned the film all leader would have condemn it including U N arrest the film makers that time freedom of speech does not matter, its high time U S Gov apologize to Muslim world and arrest the producer, director of film and try them for murder of Christopher Stevens
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Michael
14-09-2012 03:32pm
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Nobody should forget the past!
Muslims all over the world are facing insults nearly every day, with no exception of us muslims in Germany. If you wd have to deal with mistrust, insults, all sorts of allegations you will go mad some day. I don't accept any violences against the embassies but I understand that outbreak of anger very well. Have you ever been treated as an idiot only because you are muslim? Once you have been introduced to somebody who heard about your belief you have to face something like hatred upt to compassion because you seem to be mentally retarded. How long would that be acceptable for you? How long will you keep friendly and silent about that? I think everybody who wants to take the attackers to court is right ... but please think about their past and how they have been treated for a lot of years .....
Dina
14-09-2012 02:47am
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What?
Why on earth would the US apologize?If an Egyptian living in American did something wrong, would the Egyptian government have to apologize on behalf of that person? Of course not. I am an American born Egpytian, and I am ashamed of my Egyptian side. You people are so freaking ignorant. I agree that the people who made the film are disgusting and they are partly to blame. But no one is to blame more than the fithy monsters who actually killed these people. I will not even call them Muslims becuase they are not.
Mona
13-09-2012 10:47pm
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by the way
(internet invented in the US, by the Way), all sciences were possible thanks to Arabic Numbers, (wich you're using), also the first equation for Algebra was given to Europe during the Dark-Ages 1000 years ago, by Arab mathematicians.
bonks
13-09-2012 07:39pm
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difference between civilization and barbarity
Muhammed is not a prophet for non-Muslims and his life and character is open to investigation. If you don't like it, don't listen to it or read it but please understand that Muhammad is a non-character for the majority of our planet's people. If you really don't want to come across any unorthodox treatement of Muhammad or any other hero of Islamic lore, you can simply stop using Internet (invented in the US, by the way). In this manner you will be able to live your life truly independently of others. As for making films against Jews, nobody has ever been arrested or killed for it, maybe dismissed from job and ostracized but not arrested or killed. This is the difference between civilized West and uncivilized Muslim worlds.
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