It turns out that no one really knows who made the film that started the riots in Egypt. Or even if there’s a film at all, not just a trailer. Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic looked into the history of the man and the movie.
As part of my search for more information about Sam Bacile, the alleged producer of the now-infamous anti-Muhammad film trailer “The Innocence of Muslims,” I just called a man named Steve Klein — a self-described militant Christian activist in Riverside, California (whose actual business, he said, is in selling “hard-to-place home insurance”), who has been described in multiple media accounts as a consultant to the film.
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. “After 9/11 I went out to look for terror cells in California and found them, piece of cake. Sam found out about me. The Middle East Christian and Jewish communities trust me.”
This is the equivalent of one of those viral e-mails from your crazy relative or distant acquaintance that claims Hillary Clinton was on the grassy knoll in Dallas in November 1963 and that Barack Obama was born on Mars. And it also shows what happens when this kind of nutsery has real consequences.