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Libya attack: Who's behind the inflammatory YouTube video?

An Egypt mob and a Libya attack are thought to have been sparked by a virulent anti-Islam YouTube video. But who was behind that amateurish video remains a mystery.


An Afghan man browses the YouTube website at a public internet cafe in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday. Afghanistan banned the YouTube website on Wednesday to stop Afghans watching a US-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad that sparked protests in North Africa and the killing of the US ambassador to Libya.

Mohammad Ismail/REUTERS

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As calls continue across the Mideast for protests related to the anti-Muslim film, “Innocence of Muslims,” the mystery over who is actually behind the project deepens.

A 14-minute trailer uploaded to YouTube in July, allegedly from a two-hour movie, reportedly sparked Tuesday’s violence against the US embassy in Cairo and a consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where four employees, including the US ambassador, were killed.

The whole business initially was attributed to a man identified as Sam Bacile, said to be a 50-ish American-Israeli citizen. A man with a heavy accent and “a California phone number,” spoke to several reporters on Tuesday, including those with the Times of Israel, the Associated Press, and The Wall Street Journal. In the Times of Israel report, a spokesman for the Israeli government denied any citizenship records for a Sam Bacile.

The YouTube profile behind the clip sets Mr. Bacile’s age at 75, and there is no additional information other than two video clips.


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