One ran a low-profile Christian charity from a sleepy suburb east of Los Angeles. The other was a financially strapped gas station operator just out of federal prison.
In the last year, these men, both Egyptian immigrants, became unlikely collaborators in an endeavor that has shaken the stability of the Middle East.
Joseph Nassralla Abdelmasih, the president of the Duarte-based charity Media for Christ, and Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a convicted felon from Cerritos, emerged Thursday as forces behind "Innocence of Muslims." An online trailer for the low-budget film incited violence in recent days across the Arab world.