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(Fox News) - Most of the dialogue that relates to Islam or religion in the trailer looks like it was overdubbed in post-production, with many suggesting that the dialogue was translated with words something completely different to lines delivered.
The man who identified himself as the filmmaker behind the anti-Islam film “The Innocence of Muslims” may have used a pseudonym and spent time in federal prison. Meanwhile several actors in the movie say they were duped, and are now distancing themselves from the film that was cited as a spark to the violence in Libya that resulted in the murder of the United States’ ambassador to that country.
Initial reports stated an Israeli-born producer who identified himself as Sam Bacile had gone into hiding following the violence in Libya. FoxNews.com’s research on public and private databases, business filings, and people finding services came up empty on that name. Israeli authorities also claim to have no records of him being a citizen, although he said in interviews to be both a citizen of America and Israel.
The Associated Press first reported that they spoke with Bacile via phone as he was remaining incognito in an undisclosed location following the violence in Libya. “Bacile” said that he was sorry for the death of the U.S Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and blamed his death on the “no good” security systems in place at the embassies.
When Bacile’s legitimacy began to be questioned, the AP traced the phone number they had called to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian, said he was the manager of the company that produced the anti-Muslim movie, but denied that he had posed as Bacile. However, other connections to the Bacile persona have been unearthed.
Nakoula has frequently used alias names in the past, including Erwin Salameh and Nicola “Bacily,” among others. In 2010, he pleaded no contest to federal band fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay over $790,000 in restitution, sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the internet for five years. Thus, hosting a “Sam Bacile” YouTube channel may be deemed a violation of his probation.
'There is absolutely no way that film could have cost five million. More likely, five dollars… It looks like a hoax'
- Independent film producer
An attorney for Nakoula, listed as James Henderson Sr., did not respond to FoxNews.com's request for comment. On his legal website, the Santa Monica-based lawyer is described as a specialist in “white collar criminal defense and federal criminal violations.”
Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., who burned Qurans on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, said he spoke with the movie's director on the phone Wednesday. He said he has not met the filmmaker in person, but the man contacted him a few weeks ago about promoting the movie.
"I have not met him. Sam Bacile, that is not his real name," Jones said. "I just talked to him on the phone. He is definitely in hiding and does not reveal his identity. He was quite honestly fairly shook up concerning the events and what is happening. A lot of people are not supporting him."
“Bacile” also claimed in his initial interview with the AP that “The Innocence of Muslims” was shown to a mostly empty theater in Hollywood earlier this year, which has since been pinpointed as L.A’s Vine Theater. A worker at the theater told FoxNews.com:“The film we screened was titled ‘The Innocence of Bin Laden’,” adding that the film was in English without any subtitles or Arabic. The worker said it was a “small viewing.”
The L.A Times reported it was an “earlier version” of the movie, and fewer than ten seats in the theater were filled.
Another of the film’s promoters, Steve Klein, told The Atlantic that he did not know Steve Bacile’s “real name,” and that they only met once and spoke for about an hour.
“He’s not Israeli… His name is a pseudonym,” Klein told the magazine. “All these Middle Eastern folks I work with have pseudonyms. I doubt he’s Jewish. I would suspect this is a disinformation campaign.”