Kidnapped Leader of Jews in El Salvador Safe at Home

The leader of El Salvador’s Jewish community returned safely home this week after being kidnapped last month in the capital city of San Salvador, according to a source familiar with the case.

Jean-Claude Kahn, 51, a businessman of French descent, had been abducted Jan. 31 from his Mercedes-Benz by six armed men near a private university in downtown San Salvador, local police officials said.

Kahn owns a textile warehouse in the capital.

The kidnapping was believed to be motivated for financial reasons and was not a terrorist operation, the source said.

It was thought that Kahn’s family paid a ransom for his safe return, the source also said.

The presence of a Lebanese community in San Salvador had originally raised speculation and fears that the kidnapping was directed against the Jewish community there.

About 30 Jewish families live in El Salvador.

The community had some 120 families before the Salvadoran civil war of the late 1970s, but most emigrated at the time to avoid the strife.

NEXT STORY