Maker of video that incited Libya attack may not be Israeli after all
Reports in The Atlantic and other media outlets raise doubts about the identity of the filmmaker, who had previously identified himself as "Sam Bacile," an Israeli-American real-estate developer.
The producer of an inflammatory YouTube video that provoked a violent attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, in which four American diplomats were killed, may not be Israeli, as was previously reported by numerous media outlets.
Following Tuesday night's attack in Benghazi, a man who identified himself as "Sam Bacile," an Israeli-American real-estate developer from California, took credit for the amateurish clip.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, the man claimed that the film had cost some $5 million to produce, and that the cost was covered by more than 100 Jewish donors.
However, in a post published in The Atlantic on Wednesday, Jeffrey Goldberg quotes Steve Klein, who claims to have served as a consultant to the makers of the film, as saying that the man who made the film is not Israeli, and probably not Jewish.
Klein told Goldberg in a telephone interview that the name Sam Bacile is a pseudonym, and that he has no idea what the man who made the film's real name is. He added that some 15 people were involved in the making of the controversial film, most of them American Evangelicals, but some of them Middle Eastern Christians.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the New York Times on Wednesday that the name Sam Bacile was "totally unknown in filmmaking circles in Israel." He added that the filmmaker was “a complete loose cannon and an unspeakable idiot.”
A report published by the Guardian on Wednesday linked the clip to Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian from California who runs a small anti-Islam group called the National American Coptic Assembly.