Profile: Sam Bacile - the middle-aged real-estate developer behind the controversial 'The Innocence of Muslims' film

The death-threats directed at Bacile are very real. But little else seems to be straightforward about the man.

If Sam Bacile wanted to make a stir, he certainly succeeded. Holed-up at a secret location in California, the middle-aged creator of “Innocence of Muslims” used  telephone interviews to double down on his newfound notoriety, declaring: “Islam is a cancer, period!”

The death-threats directed at Bacile are very real. But little else seems to be straightforward about the man, who is completely unknown in Hollywood, despite claiming to have written and directed a $5m independent movie involving 59 actors and 45 technical staff.

An interviewer from the Associated Press described him as a 56-year-old Israeli real-estate developer based in California. But there appears to be no record of his involvement in the region’s property market. Another, from the Wall Street Journal put his age at 52. The Times of Israel dubbed him a Jewish US citizen who is “familiar” with the Middle East.

Whatever Bacile’s provenance, it seems inconceivable that a two-hour film that appears so low-budget can have cost $5m, as he currently alleges. And did 100 Jewish donors really finance this eccentric project? He has yet to provide supporting evidence.

One thing that cannot be doubted about the mysterious Sam Bacile – if that’s his real name -   is that he’s not apologetic. Asked if he’d learned anything from the affair, he told a reporter: “I feel the security system (at embassies) is no good. America should do something to change it.”

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