Meet Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Who Might Be "Sam Bacile," Anti-Muslim Filmmaker
Who is Sam Bacile, the dude who thinks that the Libya and Egypt embassy attacks were the fault of bad security, and who produced a vitriolic anti-Mohammed film, or portions thereof?
Well, there might be no such person. It may be an alias of a convicted fraudster named, among other things, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
I thought you might like to know about Mr. Nakoula, so I headed to PACER and downloaded some records from his case.
Here is the federal criminal complaint against him. It also serves as the application for a search warrant. The action starts in paragraph 7. Note: a federal criminal case starts in one of two ways: an indictment returned by a grand jury, or a complaint (almost always) by a magistrate judge. Cases started with a complaint are almost always supplemented with an indictment soon thereafter. Here, unlike complaints I have criticized in the past, the complaint is very professional. It has very good attribution — that is, it is clear how the affiant knows everything the says. The complaint contains a good narrative of the evidence against Nakoula.
Here is the indictment against Nakoula — the formal charges returned by the grand jury (meaning, the charges the U.S. Attorney's office decided to offer to the grand jury.) It has a narrative of the crime, but not the description of evidence.
Here is the Judgment and Commitment Order reflecting Nakoula's conviction and sentence. I note that it includes a condition of supervised release, as widely reported, that strictly limits computer and internet use:
7. Defendant shall not possess or use a device with access to any online service at any
location without the prior approval of the Probation Officer. This includes access through
any Internet Service Provider ("ISP"), bulletin board system, or any public or private
computer network system. Further, defendant shall not have another individual access the
Internet on defendant's behalf to obtain files or information that defendant is restricted
from accessing personally, or accept restricted files or information from another person;
8. Defendant shall use only those computers, computer related devices, screen/user names,
passwords, e-mail accounts, and ISPs approved by the Probation Officer. Computer and
computer-related devices include, but are not limited to, personal computers, personal
data assistants (PDAs), Internet appliances, electronic games, and cellular telephones, as
well as peripheral equipment, that can access, or can be modified to access, the Internet,
electronic bulletin boards, other computers, or similar media. Defendant shall use any
approved computers only within the scope of his employment. Defendant shall not access
a computer for any other purpose. Defendant shall immediately report to the Probation
Officer any changes in defendant's employment affecting defendant's access and/or use of
computers or the Internet, including e-mail;
9. All computers, computer-related devices, computer storage media, and peripheral
equipment used by defendant shall be subject to search and seizure, and subject to the
installation of search and/or monitoring software and/or hardware, including
unannounced seizure for the purpose of search. Defendant shall not add, remove,
upgrade, update, reinstall, repair, or otherwise modify the hardware or software on any
computers, computer related devices, or peripheral equipment without the prior approval
of the Probation Officer, nor shall defendant hide or encrypt files or data. Further,
defendant shall, as requested by the Probation Officer, provide all billing records,
including telephone, cable, Internet, satellite, and similar records;
I also note indications that Nakoula may — may — have cooperated with the government. Those indications are suggestive, but are not conclusive proof one way or the other.
So. People, Nakoula. Nakoula, my peeps. Talk amongst yourselves.
Edited to add: Scott thinks I should commit and say Sam is Nakoula if I think that. When I began to write the post, I hadn't reached that point. Now I have. I'll leave the original title and first paragraph as is, though. By the way, I am not relying on the anonymous government confirmation.
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