According to the AP (via):
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities identified a Southern California man who is on federal probation for financial crimes as the key figure behind an anti-Muslim film that has spawned mob violence against American embassies across the Mideast, a U.S. law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday.
There was no sign of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, at his family’s home Thursday in Cerritos outside Los Angeles, as details slowly began to emerge about his checkered past, his connections among Southern California’s right-wing Christian organizations and his central role in the production of the film….
Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed Thursday that the Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats killed during an attack on the American mission in Benghazi. It was not immediately clear whether authorities were focusing on Nakoula as part of that probe…
Nakoula pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers, the Internet or online user or screen names for five years without approval from his probation officer. He is still on probation, according to court records.
The YouTube account under the username “Sam Bacile,” which was used to publish excerpts of the provocative movie in July, was used again as recently as this week….
Neocons and right-wing Christianists will mutter about stalking horses and Lee Harvey Oswald, if they haven’t already started. But if I were Morris Sadek or even Terry Jones, I’d write the name of the best civil-rights lawyer I could find on my hand with indelible ink.