Belgians Tweet Cat Photos With #BrusselsLockdown Hashtag As An Amazing Response To Terrorist Threats
On Sunday, police in Brussels were searching for a suspect in last week's violent attacks in Paris, which killed more than a hundred people. As a result, the city was put under the highest level of terror alert possible — basically, a lockdown — as police completed raids throughout the city. While the city remains under this alert, the police have asked locals not to tweet or post information about their movements or locations in order to protect the security of the operation and prevent tipping off the suspect, Salah Abdeslam, or his allies. In heed of that warning, Brussels residents are tweeting cat photos with #BrusselsLockdown. The result: an adorably cute and much-needed response to the ongoing threat of terrorist activity around the world.
The Belgian capital has been on high alert since Saturday, while police forces and Belgian soldiers patrolled the city searching for Abdeslam and following up on other potentially dangerous leads. On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Charles Michel said, "We fear an attack similar to the one in Paris." He also said that officials fear an attack would target highly populated gathering places throughout the city — much like the attacks in Paris did. The police's request for social media silence is also an effort to encourage people not to give potential attackers ideas of where to carry out their violence. Fortunately, Brussels residents have taken the police's advice to heart, producing a compelling Twitter feed.
According to reports, at least 16 people have been arrested throughout the Brussels lockdown, but Abdeslam does not appear to be one of them. It's unclear how long the lockdown will last, but schools in the city, as well as the city's metro system, will remain closed at least through Monday. Hopefully, Belgians use their free time to share more cute cat photos and respect the police's warning to stay safe.