Brand & Martínez

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The filmmaker behind the anti-Islam film

by Brand & Martínez

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A screenshot from a trailer for controversial anti-Islam film, "Innocence of Muslims." sinahi tenurche/YouTube

Details on the controversial film that sparked many of the protests in the Middle East still remain cloudy, but it appears 'Sam Bacile,' the name given yesterday as the movie's producer and director, was a fabrication.

A law enforcement source has told the Associated Press that a Coptic Christian here in Southern California named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is the real filmmaker.

Nakoula has a checkered past. He apparently has used several aliases in the past, and according to the Associated Press, he pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution two years ago. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

Meanwhile, another man, Steven Klein, has given media interviews in which he says he helped produce the film. Klein has been on the radar of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.


Heidi Bierich, Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center

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