News Column

Producer of Anti-Muhammad Film in Hiding

Sept. 13, 2012

The producer of the anti-Muslim film that sparked rioting at U.S. missions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen is in hiding, a California consultant to the movie said.

Steve Klein, a Hemet, Calif., insurance agent and anti-Muslim activist, said he has been in contact with the film's producer since the deadly attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

U.S. and other officials said the militants who attacked the Benghazi mission may have used the protests as a cover for their assault. The film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as power- and sex-hungry bisexual pedophile of indeterminate patrimony.

"He's absolutely terrified because they'll kill him if they find him," Klein said, referring to Muslims who may seek revenge because of how Muhammad is depicted.

Klein said he served as script consultant.

The filmmaker has not been named or identified, but a man using the pseudonym Sam Bacile has taken credit for writing and directing "Innocence of Muslims" in media interviews, the Times said. Bacile described himself as a real estate developer who received $5 million from Jewish donors to fund the project. CBS reported there was growing evidence a Coptic Christian upset over treatment of the sect in the Muslim world, identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, who lives outside Los Angeles, as behind the film.

Klein, known among monitoring groups for his right-wing extremism, said he believed Bacile was a pseudonym. Klein told the Times he met Bacile a couple of times and talked to him on the phone.

"I don't know Sam that well," Klein said.

Records released Wednesday by FilmL.A. Inc. indicated the film was shot in Los Angeles County in August 2011, the Times said.

One crew member told the Times in an email the cast and crew were told the film would be a war movie. The member, who asked not to be identified, said dialogue in the trailer that makes specific, derogatory comments against Islam was re-recorded after the actors left.

"The original actors said one word, and then the producer and editing team [whom I don't know] dubbed," the crew member wrote. "It's unmistakable that most dubbed portions are a different voice than the original actor."

A statement released on behalf of the cast and crew denounced the movie and expressed sadness over the deaths of the four Americans.

"We are 100 percent not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. ... We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred," the statement read.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2012

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