Phillip Coplen, an administrative manager for ABB Lummus Global and former president of the Associated Builders and Contractors Houston chapter, was killed May 1 when Saudi terrorists attacked his office in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.
Three other ABB employees were killed, including Stephen LaGuardia, an American construction manager, Michael Hardy, a British quantity surveyor, and an unnamed subcontractor. The attackers invaded the company’s office, shooting high-level employees. LaGuardia’s body was then reportedly tied onto the bumper of the terrorist’s car and dragged through the streets of Yanbu.
According to Saudi interior minister, Prince Nayef, the attack appeared to have been carried out by Al-Qaida.
While dragging LaGuardia’s body, the attackers shouted to bystanders and encouraged them to join the resistance against the American occupation of Iraq.
James Oberwetter, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, met with Americans living in Yanbu and encouraged them to leave the country. According to the Associated Press, his message was, “It is time for us to pack our bags and go home. We cannot protect you here.”
ABB employees were offered the option of leaving Yanbu, and all 90 foreign employees accepted. ABB officials said the company is temporarily withdrawing from Yanbu, and their project there is delayed indefinitely.