AFP launches podcast series for the 20th anniversary of the Bali bombings

Operation Alliance: 2002 Bali Bombings

Today the AFP releases the first episode in a documentary-style podcast series about the 2002 Bali bombings, an anniversary that has a special significance for the Australian community and the AFP.

As the 20th anniversary of this history-defining terrorist attack approaches next month, the AFP-produced podcast series - Operation Alliance: 2002 Bali Bombings – is a tribute to the men and women of the AFP who responded to the events in Bali.

Just after 11pm local Indonesian time, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb inside Paddy’s Bar and a short time later, a vehicle-borne IED exploded outside the Sari Club on the popular tourist resort island, Indonesia killing 202 people, including 88 Australians.

For the first time since that fateful night, the podcast series goes behind the news headlines to explore the AFP’s efforts in supporting the Indonesian criminal investigation, the meticulous forensic work and the harrowing, but necessary, Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process.  

It also commemorates the significant work undertaken with our state and international partners. Our strong relationships have continued to help keep Australians, and our region, safe, and we tell that important story in this podcast.

In Episode 1 – The Lights Went Out – listeners are taken into the events immediately after three separate explosions rocked Bali. The chaos on the streets of Kuta echoed in Australia as the AFP learned of the devastation and scrambled to assemble expert investigative and forensic teams, as well as victim identification, media and family liaison units to deploy to the crime scenes. In doing so, they began one of the most significant operations in AFP history.

Narrator and respected journalist Ray Martin takes listeners through the stories of AFP members in their own words, where they explain how they were involved in the Bali response, both offshore and at home – and what it meant to them.

For our members, some who deployed to Bali within hours of the bombings, they are among the silent heroes who provided solace for grieving families.

The podcast series explores the forensic breakthroughs, including post-blast residue examinations, fingerprint comparisons and a suicide bomber theory – all of which paved the way for investigators to identify suspects, later charged for their involvement in the bombings.

Bali was fundamental in re-shaping how the Australian community felt about its safety abroad and at home, in re-shaping Australia’s over-arching national security framework, and in re-shaping the AFP into a mature organisation driven by innovation.

The AFP and the lives of many of our members changed after the Bali bombings. Our hearts will always be with grieving families and survivors. Equally, we are forever thankful for the men and women of the AFP plus our state police and international police partners who deployed to Bali in October 2002.

Episode 1 – The Lights Went Out is released today, with episodes available weekly through to 12 October on the AFP website and major podcast platforms.

Episode Guide:

Episode 1: The Lights Went Out – out now

Episode 2: Looking For Clues – 28 September

Episode 3: Team Effort – 5 October

Episode 4: Closing The Circle – 12 October

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