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Anti-Islam filmmaker in hiding, 'upset' by US envoy death

Colleague of Israeli-American filmmaker claims Sam Bacile 'fell apart' when hearing about death of US envoy; reports his fear of similar fate to Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, assassinated in 2004

AFP , Wednesday 12 Sep 2012
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The director of a film that sparked protests in the Middle East is "upset" at the death of the US ambassador to Libya and has gone into hiding, a consultant on the project said Wednesday.

"He's very upset that the ambassador got murdered," Steve Klein told AFP, adding that he had spoken to filmmaker Sam Bacile by phone earlier in the day, but did not know his location.

When Bacile - not his real name - was told about the death of US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, "he melted, he fell apart," added Klein, who said he was one of some 15 people behind the film, "Innocence of Muslims."

He added that the reported Israeli-American director could suffer the same fate as Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was assassinated in 2004 after triggering protests with an anti-Muslim film.

Asked if Bacile could be killed, he said: "If he goes public I'm sure he will."

Klein said he had only known the director by the name he gave when they first met, Sam Bacile - reportedly a real estate developer, but whose name comes up blank on internet searches before the film row erupted.

"I'm sure it's something else," said Klein. "I have no idea why he picked 'Sam,' I have no idea why he picked 'Bacile.'"

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