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The Coptic Christian in California behind the anti-Islamic film

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian, says that he helped with logistics for the film "Innocence of Muslims," which mocked Muslims. He denied directing the film. But there's evidence to suggest the filmmaker, Sam Bacile is an alias, which is strikingly similar to Nakoula's middle name.

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A protester sprays graffiti on a wall during a protest march to the U.S. embassy in Sanaa September 13, 2012. Hundreds of Yemeni demonstrators stormed the U.S. embassy in Sanaa on Thursday in protest against a film they consider blasphemous to Islam. The graffiti reads, "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!"

REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

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The search for those behind the provocative, anti-Muslim film implicated in violent protests in Egypt and Libya led Wednesday to a California Coptic Christian convicted of financial crimes who acknowledged his role in managing and providing logistics for the production.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told The Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles that he helped with logistics for the filming of "Innocence of Muslims," which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad and may have caused inflamed mobs that attacked U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya. He provided the first details about a shadowy production group behind the film.

Nakoula denied he directed the film and said he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile. But the cell phone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula's aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others.

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Nakoula told the AP that he was a Coptic Christian and said the film's director supported the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims.

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