The inflammatory anti-Islam film that has triggered rioting across the Muslim world was produced by a US religious group called Media for Christ and reportedly directed by a pornographer.
The man apparently behind the film - entitled Innocence of Muslims on its 14-minute YouTube trailer - is 65-year-old Alan Roberts, a US-based Egyptian Copt and fraudster who may have violated his parole, US officials said. Roberts previous work is dominated by schlock soft porn and hammy action with titles such as Young Lady Chatterley II and Karate Cop, according to website Gawker.
Cast members of Innocence of Muslims say they were duped into appearing in what they thought was a fictional epic, only to discover their lines had been dubbed over with anti-Muslim propaganda.
The film was promoted by a network of right-wing Coptic and Evangelical Christians with a radical anti-Muslim agenda, such as Egyptian American provocateur Morris Sadek and Terry Jones, a Florida pastor notorious for publicly burning a Koran.
Nakoula Bassily Nakoula, who is believed to have written the film, may have breached the rules governing his conditional release from prison.
The amateurish production values include actors in laughable false beards appearing to hover weightlessly in front of stock desert footage. But its depiction of the Prophet Mohammed as a thuggish deviant offended many Muslims, and sparked a wave of anti-US protests.