Terrorists targeted India's outsourcing industry

India's software and services outsourcing business is a likely target of a separatist terrorist group, according to Indian police.

India's software and services outsourcing industry is a likely target for a terrorist group operating in the country, local police warned on Sunday. But Indian outsourcing and software companies said they are prepared to cope with the threat.

Documents seized from three members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist group killed in an encounter with the police on Saturday revealed that they planned to carry out suicide attacks on software companies in Bangalore, Karnal Singh, joint commissioner of police in Delhi, told reporters on Sunday.

LeT is demanding independence for the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian government has claimed that LeT and other separatist groups are aided and abetted by neighboring Pakistan, which also occupies a part of the disputed territory of Kashmir.

"The terrorists planned to hit these companies in an effort to hinder the economic development of the country," Singh said.

Bangalore has a large concentration of Indian software outsourcing companies, and a number of multinational companies have software development and chip design facilities in the city.

IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments (TI), and Accenture are among those with operations in Bangalore. Two of India's largest software and IT services outsourcing companies, Wipro and Infosys Technologies, have their headquarters and large facilities in Bangalore. Bangalore also has some of India's key defense research and development organizations.

Most of the technology companies in the city have already set up disaster recovery plans and special disaster recovery sites that could be used in the event of a terrorist attack, according to Kiran Karnik, president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies in Delhi. For example, Infosys has a disaster recovery site in Mauritius.

Besides tight checks on physical entry into their facilities, Indian software companies have business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place to ensure that a terrorist attack does not disrupt their operations, Karnik said. Terrorism is a global problem and the threat in India is not greater than that in other countries, he said.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
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