Menacing cats fight terrorism via the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag
In the face of fear and suspense, cats can always save the day. That’s what Twitter taught us when users in Brussels helped police by. . . tweeting pictures of cats. Yes, we’re serious.
Over the weekend, the hunt for terrorism suspects in Brussels intensified to the point of a city-wide lockdown. According to ABC, Belgian police said there were: “various operations underway [linked to a] terrorist threat.” On Saturday, Brussels was put on maximum security alert, prompting a city-wide lockdown. Naturally, people were fearful and started tweeting about what they were seeing outside their windows and what they were seeing were police operations. Police then requested that the public not post anything they see on social media.
“For safety, please observe radio silence on social media #Bruxelles ongoing police operations. Thank you,” the federal police tweeted.
So the Internet responded in a classic Internet way: With a chorus of meows. In an effort to drown out any possible tweets that revealed the police’s movements (and thus endangered the Belgian people), Belgian Twitter users decided to tweet joke pictures and gifs of feline friends “aiding” the police’s efforts. Some cats were the brains behind the police’s operation.
Others were the brawn.
There were some “suspicious” packages found. . .
And, well, just cats awkwardly squishing themselves in packages, as they do.
But one thing was for sure: ALL of the tweets were equal parts funny, adorable, and helpful. They served as a light during dark times.
As the New York Times notes, authorities did not mention the cat movement at the news conference on Sunday, but did thank the public for their aid in keeping information on lockdown. “The Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the police services insist on thanking the press and users of social media for having taken into account the needs of the ongoing operation when covering the operation,” Eric Van der Sijpt, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Brussels, told reporters, according to the New York Times.
However, today, the Belgian police did acknowledge the kitty Twitter brigade by tweeting a picture of cat food with the caption “For cats who helped us last night. . . Help yourself!”
Mission accomplished, cool cats. One thing’s for sure: The Internet is an amazing place, and the cat takeover of #BrusselsLockdown will not soon be forgotten.
(Images via Twitter.)