Anti-Islam Film Director Identified

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 13 2012 9:49 AM

Anti-Islam Film Director Identified

Well done, Gillian Flaccus. The Associated Press has found "Sam Bacile," the director of "Innocence of Muslims." His real name is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. In addition to being a lying, he may be a straight-up crook.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Leigh Williams said Nakoula set up fraudulent bank accounts using stolen identities and Social Security numbers, then checks from those accounts would be deposited into other bogus accounts from which Nakoula would withdraw money at ATM machines.
It was "basically a check-kiting scheme," the prosecutor told the AP. "You try to get the money out of the bank before the bank realizes they are drawn from a fraudulent account. There basically is no money."
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Whenever one of these Muhammad Outrage stories breaks out, there's a rush to defend the Outrage-r on free speech grounds. It's a good instinct! But Nakoula wasn't just some paladin of free speech. He is/was a fraudster, who made inflammatory statements and then cowered behind a psuedonym. He claimed to have raised $5 million from "100 Israelis," and claimed to be Jewish himself. That could have only been calculated to amp up the anger of Muslims when they heard about the movie. He dubbed new, anti-Muslim dialogue into his movie, which meant that actors -- not him -- became the faces of those ideas. They don't make martyrs like they used to.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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