Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Christian Coptic filmmaker behind the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims that has sparked riots in the Arab world, was jailed for manufacturing methamphetamine, according to a Daily Beast report.
Nakoula was arrested in 1997 and sentenced to a year in jail and three years' probation for cooking methamphetamine. He was sentenced to another year in jail for violating probation.
As protests erupted over the film, Nakoula introduced himself as 52-year-old Israeli property developer Sam Bacile of California, saying that he made the film with the help of 100 Jewish donors. Innocence of Muslims, which depicts the Prophet as illegitimate and a feckless philanderer was made, he said, because "Islam is a cancer".
However, research has found that the name Sam Bacile is not listed by the real estate agent licensing board for the state of California.
Controversial evangelist Steve Klein, an anti-Islamic activist and consultant on the film, said that "Bacile" was a pseudonym and that he was not Jewish or Israeli. He added that the film was financed by donors from different religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Klein, who said that California was home to "plenty" of Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells that were awaiting instructions to "begin randomly killing as many of us as they can", told the Daily Beast that three of the 15 people who made the film had been tortured.
The next Theo van Gogh
"One of the directors was thrown in a cell, that was just big enough to stand up in, for 90 days and they broke his legs," he said. "Another was tortured for six months."
He reportedly warned Bacile that by making the movie he was going to be "the next Theo van Gogh", the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by a Muslim radical in 2004 after producing a film that allegedly insulted Islam.
A statement "on the behalf of the 80 cast and crew members" said they are "extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer".
"We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose," the statement says. "We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred."
Rosie Gray, from Buzzfeed, pointed out that the film's overdubs may indicate that the footage was originally made for something completely different.
"Among the overdubbed words is 'Mohammed', suggesting that the footage was taken from a film about something else entirely," she wrote. "The footage also suggests multiple video sources - there are obvious and jarring discrepancies among actors and locations."
Gawker quoted an actress in the film, Cindy Lee Garcia from Bakersfield, California, who said she had no idea she was playing a role in a blasphemous spoof of the life of Mohammed. The script was entitled Desert Warriors, according to her.
"It was going to be a film based on how things were 2,000 years ago," Garcia said. "It wasn't based on anything to do with religion; it was just on how things were run in Egypt. There wasn't anything about Mohammad or Muslims or anything."
The scripted role of the "Mohammed" character was written as "Master George", she said.