The man behind video excerpts from an anti-Muslim movie that provoked mobs in Egypt and Libya said Wednesday that he has gone into hiding. But doubts rose about the man’s exact identity amid a flurry of false claims about his background and role in the purported film. The filmmaker, who identified himself in a telephone interview with The Associated Press as Sam Bacile, said he is an Israeli-born, Jewish writer and director of Innocence of Muslims. Bacile was the name used to publish excerpts of the movie online as early as July 2.
But some key facts about Bacile’s background and role in the film crumbled Wednesday as a Christian activist involved in the film project said that Bacile was a pseudonym, that he was not Jewish or Israeli, and that a group of Americans of Mideast origin collaborated on the film. Officials in Israel also said there was no record of Bacile as an Israeli citizen.
Doubts mounted as well about the provenance of the film, Innocence of Muslims. Several Hollywood and California film industry groups and permit agencies said they had no records of the project. Only an employee at a faded Hollywood movie theater confirmed that an entire version of the film had staged a brief run several months ago. READ FULL STORY