March 7, 2005 8:45 AM PST

Bangalore appears on terror radar

NEW DELHI, India--Bangalore is starting to appear on the radar of militant groups, Indian police warned this weekend, after uncovering a terrorist plan to target IT companies in the city widely regarded as the country's technology hub.

Bangalore, which is in the southern part of India, had been considered safe from possible terror attacks by separatist groups, which so far have mostly struck in India's northern and western states. But last week, Delhi police seized evidence pointing to a possible attack on certain IT companies in Bangalore.

They obtained the evidence after arresting one member of the Laskhar-e-Toiba group, or LeT, and killing three others. LeT has been demanding separation of Kashmir from India.

Several of India's top technology companies, like Infosys and Wipro, are based in Bangalore, and a large number of American companies have their engineering and development centers there. Among the companies that have a sizable presence are Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola and Texas Instruments. Additionally, America Online, Google and Yahoo opened centers in the city last year.

Leading IT companies in Bangalore that handle outsourced jobs from American clients often maintain disaster recovery centers at offshore locations, as well as in other Indian cities.

"We have heightened our alert," Bangalore Police Chief S. Mariswamy was quoted as saying by New Delhi Television. "The intelligence machinery has also been briefed and (is) also looking for information, and...our forces generally have been kept on alert. We are also likely to enlarge the force and possibly bring in some quick-reaction teams."

The police did not name companies that were on the hit list of the militant outfit. Militant groups usually target government installations, but the Bombay Stock Exchange and other commercial buildings in Mumbai have been attacked in the past.

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Bangalore under terror alert? Another reason to return IT jobs to the US
A CNET story indicates Bangalore may become the target of terror attacks. All the more reason to move IT jobs back to the US. Many customers are dissatisfied with the service they receive over the phone, and the move by many high-tech companies has taken good-paying jobs from the U.S. Here's a good reason to bring such jobs back.
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