September 13, 2012 - 11:23 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The identity of the filmmaker whose anti-Islam movie was initially blamed for attacks on the U.S. embassy that killed four members of the diplomatic mission in Libya on Sept. 11 remains a mystery, according to Bloomberg.
The actual filmmaker fears for his life, and that is why he falsely told reporters he was an Israeli-American named Sam Bacile, according to another man who said he was a consultant to the movie.
“It’s a pseudonym,” Steve Klein, a Southern California insurance salesman and anti-Islamic activist who says he advised the filmmaker on finding actors, said in a telephone interview from his office in Hemet. “This guy’s terrified. He’s gone underground.”
Klein’s involvement with the movie couldn’t be independently verified by Bloomberg News.
A 14-minute clip, posted on Google’s YouTube, shows a fictional attack by Muslims on a Christian family followed by an account of the origins of Islam depicting Muhammad as a womanizer. YouTube blocked access to the clip in Egypt and Libya following attacks on the U.S. missions in those countries.
In a follow-up story by the AP that ran late on Sept. 12, the news agency said its search for those behind the film led to a Coptic Christian in California who had been convicted of financial crimes.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told the AP in an interview that he helped to manage the production. He denied directing the movie, the AP said. It said it reached him by tracing the address through the cell phone number it used to call Bacile.
The movie was filmed in Los Angeles County in 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported. Actors were duped into making a movie that attacked Islam and inflammatory dialogue was dubbed in later, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified crew member.
The embassy protests in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia recalled the worldwide demonstrations in 2005 after a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The four-hour assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three embassy employees. It may have been orchestrated by groups tide to al- Qaeda, lawmakers said as U.S. officials began to investigate the incident.
No one named Bacile is a licensed real estate broker or salesman in California, according to the state Department of Real Estate. Israel has no found no record so far of a citizen fitting that description, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Yigal Palmor said.
“No one here has heard of this person,” Palmor said in a phone interview. “Even if he happens to hold an Israeli passport, he acted only as an individual and there is no connection with Israel here.”