Who is the person behind anti-Islam film?

(CBS News) LOS ANGELES - The recent U.S. Embassy protests in Egypt and Libya, which was later followed by a deadly attack at the U.S. Consulatein Benghazi, were launched by a film that angered Muslims.

It would be generous to describe the film as amateurish. It depicts the prophet Muhammad as a buffoon and in sexually suggestive situations. CBS News decided not to showing clips because many may find it deeply insulting. The trailer for "Innocence of Muslims" sat almost unnoticed on English language YouTube's English videos for more than two months.

It attracted little attention from July 1, the day it was uploaded, until September 8. On that day, an Egyptian talk show host -- known for his unyielding defense of radical Islam and his inflammatory rhetoric -- ran Arabic language clips of the film. They have now gone viral throughout the Middle East.

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The filmmaker has been identified by people associated with the movie as Sam Bacile, an Israeli living in California. But CBS News and other news organizations can find no record of him.

Palestinian men burn the U.S. flag during a demonstration against a film deemed offensive to Islam
Steve Klein is a consultant on the film that ridiculed the prophet Muhammad and launched the recent U.S. Embassy protests in Egypt and Libya. described himself as a Christian activist and an outspoken critic of radical Islam.
CBS News

"No. 1: He's not Israeli," said Steve Klein, a consultant on the film, of Bacile. "No. 2: His real name is not Sam. I don't know his real name."

Klein described himself as a Christian activist and an outspoken critic of radical Islam.

"I could not have done a better job than what I have done to point out to the people of the world, and the vast majority of Muslims, just how dangerous these people are," he said.

He has no regrets for the violence it triggered. "People have asked me, 'Do I have blood on my hands?' No I don't. The blood's on their hands, not mine. "

Mr. Klein said the film's backers are Christians, Jews and Muslims from the Middle East who moved to the West. Meanwhile, YouTube has pulled the film clips from Egypt and Libya.

  • Bill Whitaker

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