Global Counter-IED MapPolice counter-IED units

Australian Bomb Data Center (ABDC)

abdcLocation: Canberra, Australia


Type: Police

The primary task of the Australian Bomb Data Center is the collection and dissemination of information relating to criminal use of explosives. The Center has been operating for over 30 years and hence has a wealth of accumulated knowledge. This is said to have proved invaluable in investigations in the not too infrequent bombings in Australia and played a significant role in the Bali bombing investigation.

There are bomb data centers globally and the aim is for this knowledge to be shared, so that each may benefit from the others experience and knowledge, and also maintain current information. This would mean that there is better hope of combating bomb threats globally.

The data that is collected by the ABDC from Australia and overseas is then interpreted and disseminated. The ABDC’s approach has evolved to incorporate three main areas of responsibility:

  • technical intelligence
  • training
  • and the conduct of trials and evaluations relating to explosives, incendiaries and related equipment.

As part of its responsibilities the ABDC also acts as the national repository for data relating to incidents involving improvised explosive and incendiary devices (IEDs). They then maintain reference materials on IEDs, explosives and accessories, which they then use to provide technical assistance to investigators and forensic examiners.

The ABDC provides training courses and modules dealing with bomb-threat procedures, search techniques and explosive-device awareness. These have been used by a variety of UN contingents and other Commonwealth employees.

Conferences are run annually, attracting delegates from around the globe, including national police and security forces. Usually a range of speakers will talk on topics of particular interest for the previous or coming year. The areas of focus include research, emergency management and national and civil defence.

This profile is part of AOAV’s investigation into counter-IED (C-IED) actors around the globe. To see the list of all C-IED actors recorded by AOAV, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE). To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here.