'Innocence Of Muslims' Filmmaker Identified By Law Enforcement As Nakoula Basseley Nakoula

09/13/2012 10:48 am ET | Updated Sep 13, 2012
  • Kia Makarechi Senior Editor for Mobile and Innovations, The Huffington Post

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.

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