Anti-Islam Filmmaker Appears to Have Ties to Cerritos

A man who claims to have made the 14-minute online movie used a cell phone that was traced to a Cerritos residence -- the scene of significant police and media activity on Wednesday night.

A man who claims to have made the movie suspected of sparking the outrage and demonstrations that turned violent in Cairo and Libya and led to the slayings of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others apparently has ties to the city of Cerritos.

In a phone interview with The Wall Street Journal late Tuesday, a California real-estate developer who identified himself as 52-year-old Israeli-American Sam Bacile said he made the film -- "Muhammad Movie Trailer" (also referred to as the "Innocence of Muslims") -- and was backed by Jewish donors. 

The low budget 14-minute trailer, which was posted on YouTube in early July under an account listed as "Sam Bacile," includes vulgar and offensive scenes that insult and mock the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Portions of the actors lines also seem to have been poorly edited and dubbed over with voiceovers in post-production -- something that has left one of the actors threatening to sue the filmmaker

According to the WSJ, a records search performed on Wednesday turned up no references to anyone in the U.S. by the name Sam Bacile. The cell phone number used in the initial phone interview, the WSJ reports, was registered to a user at a home in Cerritos but the number had since been disconnected.

Cerritos Home Draws Heavy Police and Media Presence Wednesday Night

A local resident informed Patch that at about 8 p.m. Wednesday night, several members of the media along with Cerritos sheriff's deputies were converged at a residence located south of 166th Street and Bloomfield Avenue, where the alleged filmmaker may reside. Calls to the questioning reports of the filmmaker's possible ties to the city were deferred to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau, which as of about 5:30 a.m. had no official comment on the matter. Media outlets from all over the world were reportedly bombarding the Cerritos Station with calls starting late Wednesday night. 

A public records search performed by Patch of the Cerritos residence in question shows ties to the name Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

The WSJ reported that a young man who answered the door at that home on Wednesday afternoon said a man named Nakoula B. Nakoula lived there. But when another man answered the door at other times that same day, he said no one by that name lived there.

The Associated Press, however, reported early Thursday that it had tracked down Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who admitted to helping with logistics for the film, but he denied directing it. Nakoula also told the AP that he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile.

Nakoula further denied posing as Bacile, although when he offered his driver's license to show his identity he kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley, according to the AP. 

Southland Muslim Leaders Condemn Film

Southern California Muslim leaders have condemned the slaying of the U.S. ambassador and the three foreign service workers as well as the film implicated at the heart of the outrage.

"It is certainly not a random act,'' Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said of the movie at a news conference in Anaheim Wednesday. 

The movie "lacks any intellectual basis,'' Ayloush said. "It only includes vulgar and offensive scenes to incite and provoke such behavior from those who lack rationality in dealing with hate messages."

"The extremists who produced the movie threw bait and the extremist Muslims took the bait,'' he said. 

The movie and the reaction to it show "a conflict (between) people who believe religion unites us versus those who use and abuse religion to promote their narrow agendas of hate and extremism,'' Ayloush said.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

Kathi September 17, 2012 at 05:36 AM
mfriedrich, well I will certainly agree w you that unfortunately many Christians have never really read the bible through, or maybe 1x & that includes ones who claim to believe the bible. & I further would recommend what we were required to do in college which was to read (at least the long books like the Pentateuch) through in no more than 2 sittings. It really gives a sense of the whole context that way. I know you aren't alone in your views, however you choose to focus on the hard to understand parts in the Old Testament, ignoring the examples of God's grace in so many places in the OT including Isaiah. I can't say I understand all of it yet--probably no one does except God--but what struck me about Isaiah was the alternating messages of judgement & then God's gracious compassion & not because they had even turned back to Him. For my part, I choose to focus on what I know which is all the examples of God's love & care as expressed in the New Testament, especially Paul's epistles (although I don't like everything he says). I find that challenges me right where I live. I am humbled as I read about Paul constantly praying for those in the churches he was writing to. I can't say I'm that faithful, but it motivates me to ask God to increase my prayerfulness & to make me more like what He is saying we should be. He looks on the heart. I used to think I was pretty good, but I now realize inside I need to be transformed daily. I love Philippians--still learning it tho.
MFriedrich September 19, 2012 at 06:46 AM
Kathi, I'm curious what do you think of these verses from the New Testament of the Bible about the net worth of women? Or is mentioning these sentiments unfair and out of context too? Males are holy to God, not females. Luke 2:23 Paul explains that "the natural use" of women is to act as sexual objects for the pleasure of men. Romans 1:27 Abandon your wife and family for Jesus and he'll give you a big reward. Luke 18:29-30 Jesus will reward men who abandon their wives and families. Mark 10:29-30 In the last days God will make things especially rough on pregnant women.Mark 13:17 "Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that nurse in those days." Matthew 24:19 If a woman refuses to cover her head in church, then her her head must be shaved. 11:5-6 1corinthians Wives must submit to their husbands "in every thing" as though they were Christ. "For the husband is the head of the wife." Ephesians 5:22-24 You should help a widow only if she 1) is over 60 years old, 2) had only one husband, 3) has raised children, 4) has lodged strangers, 5) has "washed the saints feet," 6) has relieved the afflicted, and 7) has "diligently followed very good work." Otherwise, let them starve. "But the younger widows refuse [to help]: for ... they will marry; having damnation." Besides the young widows are always idle tattlers -- "busybodies, spreading things which they ought not." He adds that "some are already turned aside after Satan." - 1 Timothy 5:9-15
Kathi September 21, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Trying to limit my time on these posts as there are other things in life. Will try to respond to your some of your questions. The Luke 2 passage is simply fulfilling the OT law. I do not claim to understand everything in the bible. But Mark Twain said something about there being enough he does understand. Things being rough in the last days will be rough on everyone & so that logically follows that they would be especially tough on those who are pregnant or nursing. That's not at all what Romans is saying. Its simply making the point that heterosexual relationships are normal but those who had turned away from God & suppressed the truth had also turned to not normal same-sex relations. For the NT views & especially that of Paul you need to take what he wrote as a whole, not taking a passage here or there out of context. He taught wives are to submit to husbands, but also that they are to submit to each other. Gal 3:26-28 states the equality of all believers in Christ Jesus--neither male nor female... That was radical along w the other parts of the verse about slave & free. Yes, the NT talks about different roles that different people have, but in this radical statement it gives the ultimate statement of equality before God. I as a woman am not dependent on a man for my standing w God! I & everyone else who is a believer has equal standing & equal worth to God.
MFriedrich September 21, 2012 at 05:36 AM
You said again that I'm taking a biblical verse "out of context". How is Luke 2:23 taken out of context? Does he not mean what he says here? Is the translation wrong? Then you did the same thing by throwing out a verse from Galatians. All that you've done is state that the Bible is chock full of contradictions. So which is true? Luke or Galatians? I guess Galatians. But let's keep Luke 2:23 pages intact here just in case the ladies get uppity. I think I get it. This is what I keep hearing: "The Bible is the inspired word of God. Yes, there's a lot of cruel, capricious, blood-drenched, repugnant stories, customs and instruction in the Bible, both OT and NT, but it's all better left to the wayside (i.e. out of sight, out of mind). Christians reserve the right to emphasize the good, loving and uplifting versus of the Bible and apply and use those for modern life sermons, and to minimize those verses that are the opposite and can't be applied and used. Meanwhile we can't discard the blood soaked pages of Leviticus, Amos, Obadiah (all NT) nor Revelation, Jude, 2 Peter, Thessalonians, Ephesians, Mathew (NT). because we have to keep the canon legitimacy of the historical Christian text. The inconsistencies and contradictions in the Biblical text are not important. Despite this, for social issues like homosexuality, we'll grab verses from Leviticus to prove that we're in alignment with God. The Bible is a greatest source of morality around which to organize ones life."
MFriedrich September 21, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are the best books of the Bible. The rest can pretty much be thrown in the trash. It would still be a big Bible because Proverbs has like 31 chapters, 900+ verses. If I could delete only one verse it would be Jeremiah 19:9, the most vile verse in the Bible: "And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend...." If I could keep one verse (and repeatedly grind it into the face of Christian jerks everywhere on the planet) it would be Leviticus 19:18 "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."


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