National emergency? Belgians respond to terror raids with cats

An official request for citizens to avoid tweeting anything that could inform terrorists what is going on resulted in a national outbreak of pet pics

When, on Sunday evening, Belgian police asked citizens not to tweet about the armed operations that were being carried out around the country, anyone could have been excused for reacting with fear.

Brussels in lockdown for a third day

Belgian forces searching for suspects in the aftermath of the Paris attacks told citizens to stay indoors and not go near their windows for safety reasons.

They also appealed for social media silence about any police action users might witness presumably to keep the suspects in the dark.

A tense time, no doubt. But Belgium reacted how else? with cats.

Instead of speculation about the sort of threat police might be reacting to, many people used the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag to post pictures of their pets.

Seimen Burum (@SeimenBurum) November 22, 2015

Don’t share info on situation #BrusselsLockdown that may help suspects. Confuse them with #cat pics @lopcute pic.twitter.com/0MlbjgCF4v

Lore De Witte (@loredewitte) November 22, 2015

“I got this” #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/l97iQz47Pb

Delphine Jory (@Ladyblogue) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown en live. pic.twitter.com/z9qVWhtMA9

anna-rose phipps (@lopcute) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown CodeNameSpinner pic.twitter.com/1KG0GePEN5

Amit Bhat (@amitbhatr) November 22, 2015

Don’t worry super cat is here #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/ocou9Bagly

TineEeckhout (@TineEeckhout) November 22, 2015

May the force be with us. #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/m9OuEVhfXS

JaneAustenMaMaschio (@ExTimUpperClass) November 22, 2015

#relax, Mes amis #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/LENxVUnnv9

melissa jacobs (@deathrep) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown You ROCK Belgian people! Showing the world how to deal with terrorism! Love from #NativeAmerica ! pic.twitter.com/EyCPO8345q

And after the all-clear was announced by officials with the news of arrests there was a sigh of relief and a message of gratitude.

CrisisCenter Belgium (@CrisiscenterBE) November 22, 2015

Thanks to the media and citizens for their silence online as asked during the juridicial intervention tonight #BrusselsLockdown

Belgian police later thanked the cats for their help.

Police Fdrale (@PolFed_presse) November 23, 2015

Pour les chats qui nous ont aid hier soir… Servez-vous! #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/7O5ENF6nXa

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/22/national-emergency-belgians-respond-with-cats