The Obama administration has identified a Coptic Christian living in southern California who is on probation following conviction for financial crimes as the figure behind a film that enraged Muslim mobs in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, according AP wire services. The unnamed official said that the federal government had concluded that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, is the mastermind of film entitled 'Innocence of Muslims", which has been condemned by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton for its anti-Muslim message.
However, it was not clear whether Nakoula is the subject of a criminal investigation or the investigation into the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three accompanying U.S. diplomats in Libya by a mob armed with rocket propelled grenades and small arms. Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed on September 13 his department is investigating the deaths.
According to AP, Nakouls is alleged to be connected to the persona of one Sam Bacile, who had identified himself as an Israeli Jew and the director of the film in question. However, Bacile is a false identify. AP tracked a cellphone number used by Bacile to a home in southern California and interviewed Nakoula about his role in developing the film project. Reports contend that Nakoula has a checkered past. Federal court papers filed in 2010 against Nakoula for criminal prosecution noted his various aliases, including Nicola Bacily, Robert Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others.