Sydney Times


AFP to launch podcast series on 20th anniversary of the Bali bombings

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AFP to launch podcast series on 20th anniversary of the Bali bombings

The AFP today releases a podcast trailer about the night terrorism darkened Australia’s doorstep on 12 October 2002, on the popular tourist resort island of Bali.

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

For the first time since that fateful night when 202 people died, including 88 Australians, 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.

Forensic breakthroughs, including post-blast residue examinations, fingerprint comparisons and a suicide bomber theory, paved the way for investigators to identify suspects, later charged for their involvement in the bombings.

Narrator and veteran broadcast journalist Ray Martin will take 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.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the podcast illustrated how the AFP responded to the tragedy, assisted by our state and territory policing partners, and how the agency proactively evolved to confront the threat of terrorism both in Australia and internationally.

“The Australian community will gain a better understanding of the significant influence this tragic terrorist event had on the fabric of the AFP as an organisation, and why it had such a profound impact on the Australian community,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

“When the suicide bomber detonated the first bomb inside Paddy’s Bar just after 11pm on October 12, 2002, the spectre of terror was different. From the shadows of 9-11 the year before, Australians were just beginning to understand how close and real the prospect of a terrorist attack was.

“While the podcast pays tribute to Australia’s policing response, the AFP’s thoughts remain with the families who lost loved ones too soon.

“For the men and women of the AFP – the Bali tragedy is about the families who lost their loved ones and those who survived the tragedy – they are never far from our minds.

“The bravery and resilience of Australians, and the way affected families wrapped their arms around each other, provided our members with inspiration and the motivation to undertake such a challenging operation.”

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.

“It was a major turning point for the AFP on many levels – and 20 years on – countless lives across the globe continue to be the impacted by the Bali bombings on that October night,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

“As a police officer first, and a Commissioner second, we did everything we could for the families and for those victims in 2002. The threat of terror is never ending, and we will never give up and we will never stop.

“Crucially, the strong relationship the AFP has with Indonesian authorities’ remains steadfast and those enduring partnerships continue to help keep Australians safe today.”

The trailer for ‘Operation ALLIANCE: 2002 Bali Bombings’ is released today and episodes will be available weekly from Wednesday, 21 September through to 12 October on the AFP Website and all major podcast platforms.

Episode Guide:

Episode 1: The Lights Went Out – 21 September

Episode 2: Looking For Clues – 28 September

Episode 3: Team Effort – 5 October

Episode 4: Closing The Circle – 12 October

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