CAIRO, Egypt - Osama bin Laden released his second audio tape in as many days today, naming former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg as successor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike June 7, to head al-Qaida in Iraq.
As head of Disney's motion picture divisions for ten years, Katzenberg was considered the heir apparent to former Disney CEO Michael Eisner until Eisner passed him over for a promotion to become the company's president. Katzenberg bolted to co-found DreamWorks SKG with Steven Spielberg and David Geffin. He was viewed as a dark horse to succeed al-Zarqawi because of his Jewish heritage.
"This appointment is a testament to Jeffrey's incredible intellect and talent which, sadly, Michael Eisner did not properly recognize," said Disney director emeritus and major shareholder Roy Disney in a prepared statement.
Bin Laden's message touted Katzenberg's "incredible" output of "pro-Islamic motion pictures," especially Aladdin. "You, Jeffrey, are Allah's trusted soldier who will liberate the Muslim nation from the serfdom of the crusaders in our countries," bin Laden's message said.
Bin Laden also mentioned that Robin Williams' work as the genie in Aladdin "cracked me up."