Law enforcement has identified Nakoula Basseley Nakoula as the man behind "Innocence of Muslims," the anti-Islam movie that is widely blamed for riots around the world, the AP reports.

Nakoula had previously claimed he had a role in the film's creation, but insisted he was not the director. Earlier reports centered around a certain Sam Bacile, but many doubts have been cast on Bacile's identity. Cell phones tied to Bacile and Nakoula traced to the same address.

From the AP's earlier reporting:

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told The Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles Wednesday that he managed logistics for the company that produced "Innocence of Muslims," which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad.

The movie has been blamed for inflaming mobs that attacked U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya this week as well as U.S. Embassy in Yemen on Thursday.

Nakoula ran afoul of the law in 2010, when he pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges after being indicted in a somewhat intricate scheme involving fake bank accounts created using stolen Social Security numbers. He was given a 21 month prison sentence and had to pay $790,000.

UPDATE: The Daily Beast reports that Nakoula was a meth cooker:

According to a source close to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested by the L.A. Country Sheriff's Department on March 27, 1997 and charged with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Nov. 3, 1997 to one year in county jail and three years probation. The D.A.’s office said he violated probation on April 8, 2002, and was re-sentenced to another year in county jail.

Actors in "Innocence of Muslims" say they were duped by the man claiming to be Bacile, and that the film as they knew it was not about Islam. One actress claims all the offensive references were dubbed over the lines the cast actually read. The movie was originally titled "Desert Warriors."

More on Nakoula is available in an earlier story. The AP's alert and comments from world leaders are available below.


The Associated Press
BREAKING: U.S. law enforcement says Nakoula is filmmaker of anti-Muslim movie blamed for violence

Loading Slideshow...
  • U.S. President Barack Obama

    "The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. ... Make no mistake: We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. ... We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, none." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron

    "This senseless attack ended the lives of people who had worked selflessly alongside Libyans during their darkest days. ... We look to the new Libyan authorities to do all in their power, as they have pledged to do, to bring the killers to justice. Britain stands ready to assist Libya and the United States in that task. Above all, we will honor the memory of these dedicated people by continuing their work to help Libyans build a secure and free country." (AP Photo/Ben Stansall, Pool)

  • Hamid Karzai

    "The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly condemns this inhuman and insulting action (the film) and shows its strong hatred against this action. Insulting the messenger of Islam is to insult the values of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. This insulting action will cause enmity and contrast between religions and cultures in the world and will be a strong punch to peace and harmony between humans."(AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud / Xinhua, Pool)

  • Pakistan's Foreign Ministry

    "Such abominable actions, synchronized with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths. The event has deeply hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims all over the world." (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

  • Hezbollah

    The movie is an "immoral act that represents the highest levels of aggression against human rights that is represented by the respect of people's beliefs. ... The United Nations should issue laws that criminalize such acts similar to laws that criminalize anti-Semites." (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

  • NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

    "It is important that the new Libya continues to move toward a peaceful, secure and democratic future."(AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov, Pool)

  • Libyan interim President Mohammed el-Megarif

    "We extend our apology to America, the American people and the whole world." (AP Photo)