The plot thickens: Filmmaker ‘Sam Bacile,’ blamed for embassy attacks, does not exist

For the past several days, the anti-Islam filmmaker being held responsible by some for the riots and murders at U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya has been shrouded in mystery. Very little was known about the man, “Sam Bacile,” whose bizarre film “Innocence of Muslims” had offended Muslims calling for his head. Bacile was purportedly an Israeli-born Jew forced into hiding after word of his film began to spread. As it turns out, though, “Sam Bacile” is a pseudonym.

An Associated Press investigation has revealed that “Bacile” is in fact Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Coptic Christian living in California. According to the AP, Nakoula has a history of fraud and has used several aliases.

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, 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.

Be sure to read the whole, fascinating thing. Nakoula repeatedly denies that he is the film’s director or that he and “Sam Bacile” are one and the same, but the evidence of his dishonesty is compelling.

In an additional twist, the film’s actors were apparently unaware of Nakoula’s intent, and they claim that much of the dialogue was added in post-production:

“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” said the statement, obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “We are 100 percent not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”

Twitter is buzzing after the revelations:

Of course, whether he’s “Bacile” or Nakoula, the man behind the movie is still being blamed for Tuesday’s attacks:

Some are wrongheadedly calling for Nikoula to be jailed or killed:

And he is reportedly still concerned for his safety:

More from ABC:

Sheriff’s deputies were sent to the Cerritos, California home of Nakoula, 55, Thursday to protect him and his family, a senior law enforcement official told ABC News. According to a sheriff, the police were at Nakoula’s home overnight Thursday but have now left, as media reports identifying him as the man behind “Innocence of Muslims,” and listing his address, have circulated.

According to California law enforcement officials, Nakoula, who is also known to authorities as Bacily Nakoula, was frightened for his life and “scared of retaliation” against his family.

Sheriffs from the Cerritos police station were sent to his home to keep Nakoula safe and to provide a uniformed presence to assist the members from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, official reports said.

Regardless of Nakoula’s shadiness and his film’s perceived offensiveness on a religious, not to mention artistic, level, threats to his safety and to the safety of his family are unacceptable. Lynch mob tactics may be the methods preferred by the rioters and radicals in Egypt and Libya, but in this country, we are above that kind of barbarism.

Some have accused Nakoula of anti-Semitism, asserting that he hid behind a false Jewish identity in order to protect himself and deflect any fallout from his film away from Copts and toward Jews:

It may be some time before Nakoula’s motivations are fully revealed, but one thing is clear: the depth of his deception is significant. In concealing his true involvement with “Innocence of Muslims,” he has called his character further into question. It’s doubtful that he anticipated this sort of notoriety, but he’s got it now, and his headache is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

  • Guest

    And next we will learn he has ties to Chicago, too…


    Next we will find out that he is a Muslim and created this stupid film as a ruse for killing Americans on 9-11.

    • TomJB

      You mean how Imams created the more offensive of the Dutch cartoons that sent them all a-tizzy last time?

  • J. Cox

    The guy is a DB..but to even think that the violence is due to the film..get real.They are using this as a excuse.Islamofacist hate non muslims.Period.

  • TroyGates

    Who cares who he is, he still has freedom of speech in this country.

    • Mary in South Jersey

      exactly! How many films have been made bashing Christians and Jesus? The Last Temptation of Christ is a fine example of slanderous film about Jesus. What did the Churches do? Denounced the film and then prayed for the film makers. End of story. Muslims are animals. Mohammad was a deranged man who encouraged such violence and had sex with a 9 year old girl… his wife. Really??? The man was a child molester. Let’s all follow him to Allah and live in paradise.. What a bunch of bull sh!t. The religion is one of murder and violence. They have one goal… to kill the infidels. Every mosque in this country is a Trojan Horse. The sad thing is that Americans are too stupid to realize it because they bought into all this political correctness crap. Take the blinders off people and fight back!

    • KStrett

      The film is a red herring. Is the press really this stupid? The film is
      sitting on youtube for two months and then all of the sudden on 9/ 11, coincidentally
      Islamic extremist decide to go bat crap crazy? Could it be the film had
      nothing to do with the attacks and they had planned the attacks and used
      the film as justification for their actions?

    • nuckinfuts

      How much crap is out there on youtube? This is just one of thousands of really bad attempts at film making. You think this is the only “Anti-Islam” clip out there? These jackballs were just looking for a reason to rise up and prove to the world that the “Great Satan” America is no longer to be feared, just ridiculed. Thank you Mr. Obama for feeding the flames and encouraging our enemies.

  • killdozerd11R

    This guy is as fake as our president

  • peteee363

    but isn’t this still a problem, not the movie, but the actions of the whack-jobs in the middle east?

  • Dio Heerai

    At least he’s not an aide to Hillary Clinton (Huma Abadin) that’s reserved only for Muslim Brotherhood

  • GTFOBigGovt

    What a coincidence. He’s Egyptian, speaks Arabic according to the “actors” on set, and involved in money schemes. AND lives in California. Where’s his bio, Calif law enforcement? Big coincidence the “film” came to light just in time for 911. People are so gullible.

    • PennyRobinsonFanClub

      Does seem a bit convenient, doesn’t it?

    • Mary Jeane Reed

      They are indeed … And in addition, deaf, dumb, & blind

  • Daily George

    I don’t even understand why people bother with the film or film maker. Who gives a rats?
    As if it’s of any importance. What’s next, are we trying to find a plausible explanation why Hitler did what he did, or are we passed that and understand that no matter what the reason was he was wrong! Why don’t we use the same logic in any murder case. The news should cover the 4 deaths of Americans, ONLY! Fact is, the angry mob stormed and killed Americans and their is no excuse for this action.

  • Amy

    Something about this stinks to the high heavens… A coptic Christian with a criminal past supposedly passing himself off as Jewish makes a movie that had hardly any views before 9/11 and he is now the person responsible for throwing the match that lit the fire in the middle east? Anyone else wanna call bullshit on this one?

    • JoeMyGod

      The film had little notice until Florida Pastor Terry Jones promoted it as part of his “9-11 remembrance.” That’s when an Arabic-language blogger found the film and subtitled it.

    • Mary Jeane Reed

      I’ll second that call!

  • JoeMyGod

    Nakoula’s spokesman Steve Klein has trained “anti-US government Christian militia” to “rise up against America’s illegal rulers.” He’s part of the libertarian “sovereign citizen” bag of dangerous nutjobs. This entire tragedy which resulted in American deaths was created and distributed by Christian extremists to incite anti-American hatred and cause war against Muslim nations. Klein doesn’t care about the diplomats killed: “We knew this would probably happen.”

    • Garth Haycock

      So, you don’t think that Muslims are capable of controlling their behavior?

      • JoeMyGod

        I think that if somebody smashes a hornets nest, the person standing there with a bat deserves some of the blame. Do you think US-based Christians should be free to incite attacks on American personnel serving in already dangerous foreign posts?

        • Garth Haycock

          I disagree. While I won’t waste my time watching this dumb film, those who made it are allowed to do so because of the 1st Amendment, you know, that free speech thing that the left loves when they attack conservatives.

          That you blame American Christians speaks volumes as to which side you support.

          • Chris Pulte

            If you are a Christian and don’t the mind constant stream of the highly inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric coming from right-wing fundamentalist nut-jobs, that speaks volumes as to what kind of Christian you are.

          • Garth Haycock

            Blah, blah, blah. Talk to me when hypocritical leftists like you stop bashing Christians.

          • Michael Rice

            Exactly, one faith has a “sworne duty” to kill all infidels and it’s the fault of the targeted…

          • Michael Rice

            You just incited the anger of every Christian here…I guess we now have freee riegn to attack the courthouse in your town and kill people..

          • Chris Pulte

            I believe that by connecting Christianity to the nut-jobs responsible for this film that you EMBARRASSED most real Christians.

    • disqus_CR25ev2Z1s

      Islamic militants have actually targeted and killed innocent people. Like it or not, even Christians and Jews still have freedom of speech in this country. The militants don’t get to overrule this just because they don’t like the fact that we stubbornly insist on protecting those rights.

      Awfully convenient that this film pops up and gives the media the excuse they need to blame Christians and Jews for the violent actions of others and double down on the need to shut up people with the “wrong” religious beliefs.

      The Obama administration and the media have made it abundantly clear that they don’t think Christians and Jews deserve First Amendment Rights and that the hurt feelings of other people excuse any action that will take in revenge. We cannot rely on these people to protect us when things get bad.

    • John (it true me am)

      Sovereign citizens aren’t libertarian… That is as absurd a statement as calling a moderate liberal a die-hard Stalinist.

  • Postbackxp

    The Film must of been Funded by Obama’s stimulus package.

    Next stimulus package
    Will fund this Gem
    by the New Black panther party

  • weRbroke

    It’s growing sadder the the day..people making EXCUSES for the terrorists killing innocents, and blaming a stranger they have never seen for their RAGE.

  • John Fowler

    I’m very sad for the “Americans” that tweeted someone should die for an opinion, rather than an actual crime.

  • Dubcat

    His alias may as well be Im Becile, but he didn’t start the fire.

    • John (it true me am)

      Maybe it’s just be, but I think it was always meant to be a play on words. Too coincidental for Sam Bacile to be that close to Imbecile.
      The question is… who is the actual Imbecile? Because I’d put my money on these idiots calling for his death and those who invaded sovereign embassy soil and murdered an ambassador.

  • nickshaw

    Wow! This is just like the time the Christians hunted down John Cleese after the Life Of Brian came out.
    Or something.
    What is wrong with these people? (the lib whiners)
    This clip (if there even is a movie) is not the reason for islamic rage boy.
    We are! Just out existence!
    They were celebrating 9/11 by attacking the embassy and the Youtube clip is just an excuse.
    Do they not have a clue what the muslims are doing to the Copts in Egypt right now?
    Do you think that might give a Copt in America a reason to want to make a movie of the barbaric leanings of muslims?
    It’s all academic anyway, criminal or no, the man has the right of free speech!
    Maybe some lib can tell me the difference between Zero ordering drone strikes (and the accompanying muslim rage, along with pushing more muslims into the terror business. Remember? That was the lib excuse before Zero took over the killing.) and this guy.
    No, I thought not.

  • Charles Seeburger

    To me, this whole thing appears to be a giant ploy to criminalize speech that disparages Islam. I also think the current administration is in on it…but im craaaazy.

    • jill childers

      I believe you’re right Charles……I thought when I first heard of this….he’s been paid to do this.

      • Mary Jeane Reed

        Me too.

    • Mary Jeane Reed

      I agree!

  • shopnnut

    WHY is everyone rushing in to defend these killers and to persecute an innocent man?! He made a film, so what! People write books, people blog, write songs, etc… if you are offended, who cares, get over it. You certainly don’t see Christians behaving in this manner and they are persecuted, ridiculed and insulted all of the time! No one seems to care about those rights, those feelings. The world seems to have completely LOST THEIR MINDS and since they continue to breed, I’m sure they’ll pass their warped thinking along to perpetuate the madness.

    • Mary Jeane Reed


  • Brian Bennett

    Does it cross anyone’s brain that this is just a reason to fan the flames in order to get people riled up enough to fight? If not this it would have been some other contrivance in order to get it done.

  • John

    Amazing how ready people are to *ahem* crucify this man b/c he made a film about Mohammed. Wonder how many of these people were trying to keep “The Passion of the Christ” from being released.
    Looks like the terrorists have already won….they have so many supporters/enablers…

  • jill childers

    From what I’ve seen, this movie was actually previewed in June……
    On June 23 the movie was screened once under the name, “Innocence of Bin Laden,” to an audience of under 10 at The Vine Theater, which rents space for private screenings, on Hollywood Boulevard.[12][21] According to one attendee, “The acting was of the worst caliber,” and “had no inkling that that movie was anti-Islamic and did not recall the movie referencing the prophet Mohammad,” but he did not see the whole film.[21]………So, if it came out in JUNE….why didn’t we see uprisings in JUNE about this……….Timing?

  • Kevin Krom

    “Lynch mob tactics may be the methods preferred by the rioters and
    radicals in Egypt and Libya, but in this country, we are above that kind
    of barbarism.”

    Maybe we should be above that, but the evidence to support that seems pretty shaky these days.