When it comes to the Innocence of Muslims filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, very few writers have seen fit to probe more deeply into the background of Nakoula (aka Mark Basseley Yousef). The Washington Times’ Kerry Picket did so recently but the overwhelming focus of those on the right has been Nakoula’s status as a political prisoner. Consequently, they’re ignoring something potentially much more important.
While the use of Nakoula as a political prop is a legitimate concern, he should not become a martyr. In fact, his background should be of far greater interest than it currently is. There are red flags everywhere and they are being largely ignored.
That’s why we found an article written by Brett Daniel Shehadey initially intriguing. After reading the entire piece, however, we found it intriguing for an entirely different reason and it has to do with an extremely false assertion on the writer’s part.
Here is how Shehadey starts, via Eurasia Review:
A closer look at the movie Innocence of Muslims had all of the classic signs of a black propaganda operation. Consider the features and its making:
Non-existent movie producer “Sam Bacile”
Deceitful casting calls under false titles like Desert Warrior
False plots and altered scripts
Multiple post-production title releases like The Innocence of Bin Laden or The Real Life of Muhammad
False flag attempt with “American” name tag as first source
Conspiracy to incite Islamic-US conflict
Disinformation to blame Israel and shelter anti-Islamic activists
These are all valid points that continue to be overlooked.
Then, a little later in the piece, Shehadey gets something very wrong. He asserts that Walid’s cousin Eiad Salameh, an extremely key figure who should garner interest in Nakoula’s background, is a Christian Copt. Take note that in the first sentence below, Shehadey also seems to imply that Salameh may have had a hand in the film:
Is Nakoula really the mastermind behind the film? It seems unlikely. Nakoula was recruited in the 1990s as as a drug runner and fraudster by another Coptic Christian radical named Eiad Salameh. Federal authorities have been after Salameh for at least a decade. Nakoula became a federal informant after drug charges in 2009, according to a document obtained by “The Smoking Gun.”
Asserting that Salameh is a Coptic Christian is a blatant falsehood. Attempts to contact Shehadey to ascertain his source for such a charge have been unsuccessful to this point. We’re quite confident he will not produce a credible one.
Of the handful of people involved in the making of Innocence of Muslims, Nakoula appears to be the most enigmatic. Even Barack Obama referred to him as a “shadowy character”.
Nakoula and Salameh were partners in crime for years. However, as Walid has maintained, not only is Eiad not a Copt but as a Muslim fundamentalist, he hates the Copts. It’s a matter of public record now that Nakoula became a federal snitch before his sentencing in 2010, in part to help the Feds catch Salameh.
Yet, when the Canadian Peel Police apprehended Salameh in 2011 and attempted to hand him over, those same Feds wouldn’t take him. After seven months, the Canadians put him on a plane to Bethlehem. So then, why was Salameh released if Nakoula became a snitch to help catch him?
Shehadey raises the possibility of a “black propaganda operation” in his article. In identifying Salameh as a “Coptic Christian radical” instead of what he is – a Muslim fundamentalist – his article carries a certain air of propaganda itself.
With this kernel of a substantial untruth, Shehadey shifts all culpability onto the Coptic Christians instead of where an Eiad Salameh connection would likely shift it. Shehadey should either produce his source that informed him of Salameh’s conversion from Islam to Coptic Christianity or correct the record.
Otherwise, his entire article lacks credibility and should be viewed with heightened skepticism.