An American employee of an Israeli defense firm has died under mysterious circumstances, in Saudi Arabia, and his family believes he was murdered. Chris Cramer was employed by Kollsman, Inc., a United States subsidiary of Elbit Systems, a defense electronics company in Israel.
According to Saudi authorities in the city of Tabuk, where Cramer died, he committed suicide by jumping from his hotel window at the Sahara Makarim Hotel—from the 3rd floor. But, family and friends in the US contend he was murdered, as part of a complex arms deal.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
“Family attorney and longtime friend of the victim Noah Mandell told FoxNews, ‘The problem was with the customer. The missile system was already sold to the Saudi company and they were complaining that it wasn’t working. He was basically sent to see if he could prove that they were firing it incorrectly.’
Mandell also said he believes that the Tow Missile system was sabotaged before Cramer arrived with a colleague in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 8. ‘When Chris showed up everything was inoperable,’ he said.”
According to Kollsman spokesman Clark Friese, “They showed up, they helped put it together and the demonstrations went without a hitch. Everything was operating and fully functional. Chris had even posted a video of one of the missile firings.”
Elbit Systems has released a statement, saying, “We were notified by Kollsman, an Elbit Systems of America subsidiary, that their employee, Chris Cramer, has died on an international work assignment. The circumstances of his death are under investigation by the US State Department. We have no further details at this stage and we are awaiting updates from the State Department to our US subsidiary.” Fifty-year-old Cramer, a New Hampshire native, had been employed by the company for 12 years.
Family and friends insist that Cramer would absolutely not take his own life and that foul play was likely involved, because he posed a threat to a lucrative arms deal. And, because of messages received from Cramer the night of his death:
“Mandell said he received messages from Cramer, saying he was in danger and asking Mandell to contact the US State Department. When Cramer could not reach Mandell, he texted another friend saying: ‘I’m at the Marakim tabuk hotel in Saudi. I think something bad is going to happen to me tonight. Please contact state dept ASAP. Bad things were said.’”
The circumstances of Jim Cramer’s death are being investigated by the American State Department, while Cramer’s family waits for his body to arrive back in the US for an autopsy. There has been some delay, however, in gaining access to the body.