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.

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.

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.

Belgian police later thanked the cats for their help. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010