ISCAP – Prison break DRC – situational assessment


Islamic State Central African Province (ISCAP) has continued its push into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) conducting a prison break. On the 9th of August 2022, the group attacked a prison in Butembo in the Eastern DRC. Which freed 800 inmates. The largest prison break since 2020, when the ADF an ISCAP affiliate freed 1000 inmates in Beni, northeast DRC. The attack on the prison is the latest in an uptick of ISCAP activity in the DRC over the last two months. It will have a regional impact on the DRC and the wider Central Africa region.

Key Judgement 1: It is highly likely the attack on the prison in Butembo is part of a concerted effort by ISCAP to increase its activity in the DRC over the next 6 months.

  • The attacks being carried out by ISCAP and its affiliate ADF are occurring on an almost daily basis. Demonstrating IS effort to increase its presence in the region. (source)
  • Following the prison break, ISCAP carried out a targeted killing of the Deputy Police Chief in Butembo. (source)
  • In June and July 2022, ISCAP was also responsible for the killing of over 55% of the targeted killing of Christians in Central Africa. A campaign IS calls the “Harvest of African Christians”. (source)
  • Furthermore, on the 16th of July 2022, ISCAP carried out a devastating attack on the Congolese army in Kivu. (source)

Key Judgement 2: It is highly likely the prison break will only increase the frustrations of the Congolese people with the security situation in the country over the next 6 months.

  • Since the 25th of July 2022, anti-UN protests have raged across Eastern DRC. The protest started because of the UN’s inability to get the security situation in the DRC under control. (source)
  • Following the prison break in Butembo, demonstrations against regional insecurity have resulted in the death of five police officers. (source)
  • Subsequently, the situation has been described as critical by a local official. The population is continually frustrated by the lack of security provided to them by the government of the DRC. (source)
ISCAP prison break
ISCAP Prison break in DRC (source)

Key Judgement 3: The prison break in the DRC will likely have implications for the wider Central African region as ISCAP numbers grow.

  • Following the prison break in Kivu, ISCAP has sought to recruit those freed inmates that are not already members. Paying up to $350 a month in salary with bonuses of $100 every two weeks. (source)
  • Furthermore, the prison break in Butembo is part of a global initiative by IS. It is its “Breaking the Walls” policy that is designed to free Muslims to grow its ranks. (source)
  • Prison breaks such as this boost morale and provides propaganda material. They importantly, also increase the capability of the terrorist groups that conduct them by freeing well-trained members. (source)

Intel Cut-Off Date 31 Agust 2022

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