FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

India's IT Firms Are Terrorist Targets

A recent police raid on a hideout of a Kashmiri separatist terrorist cell revealed that the group had visited India's high-tech center of Bangalore in December to scout out potential targets. In addition to diaries and papers, the police also uncovered firearms and explosives. The terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (known as LT, or Army of the Righteous), is a Sunni Muslim, anti-Western organization fighting for independence of India's Kashmir region, and with ties to al-Qaida.

Bangalore is home to some of India's largest IT firms, many of which do substantial outsourcing business with US companies. These firms, however, claim they have not received information on specific threats.

The threat of conflict is not new to India's IT industry. India's longstanding tension with neighboring Pakistan -- which could escalate to a nuclear exchange -- has caused IT firms to do careful contingency planning. However, a major terrorist attack on one of India's high-profile offshore IT firms would -- in addition to the human loss -- seriously harm the reputation of India as a safe, stable place to do business. And despite the disaster recovery and contingency planning that's surely in place, an attack would no doubt rattle the Western companies that have outsourced portions of their business to India, as well as their shareholders.

Source: Silicon.com