TICKER: Producer of controversial anti-Muslim film was once an informant for US federal law enforcement

Until now, it’s been hard, almost impossible, to get to the bottom of who is behind the anti-Islam film that reportedly sparked the attack on American embassies in Egypt and Lebanon. But now that the layers are being peeled away, we’re learning that the webbing is curious, and actually involves the U.S. government.

Let’s discuss what we know so far. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg was among the first to report that the man behind the film, Sam Bacile, probably didn’t exist, and that the name was an alias. According to Goldberg, who spoke with Steve Klein, a consultant for the film, Sam Bacile doesn’t exist: Klein told me that Bacile, the producer of the film, is not Israeli, and most likely not Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym. He said he did not know “Bacile”‘s real name. He said Bacile contacted him because he leads anti-Islam protests outside of mosques and schools, and because, he said, he is a Vietnam veteran and an expert on uncovering al Qaeda cells in California.

It now seems that “Sam Bacile” is an alias for a man named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. How do we know this?  The cellphone number that Associated Press used Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Bacile and Nakoula  are the same person.

Next, we learned from Gawker  that the director of the film is best known for his work in the soft core porn industry: The anti-Islam film that’s set off a firestormin the Middle East was directed by a 65-year-old schlock director named Alan Roberts, we’ve confirmed. He’s the creative vision behind softcore porn classics like The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood.

And if that wasn’t enough to raise suspicion that the people working on this anti-Muslim film project aren’t on the up and up, we now know, thanks to The Smoking Gun, that the producer of the film, Nakoula, is a U.S. government informant.

After Nakoula was arrested for stealing $800,000 from six financial institutions by using stolen Social Security numbers, he snitched to save his own neck: Denied bail, Nakoula, a married father of three, was locked up at the Metropolitan Detention Center in L.A. when he began cooperating with Justice Department lawyers and federal agents. During a series of debriefing sessions, Nakoula provided investigators with a detailed account of the fraud operation and fingered the man who allegedly headed the operation, according to comments made by his lawyer at sentencing.

No matter what side you come down on, you have to agree that this wasn’t just an instance of a group of filmmakers coming together to create controversial art. This was part of a plan that somebody set in motion. Directors of soft porn and anti-Islamists don’t just run into each other.  They’re introduced.

Kulture Kritic

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