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After Police Asked Them Not To Tweet About The Lockdown, Belgians Began Tweeting Cute Cat Pictures

“This, dear outsiders, is how we fight terrorism here. They haven’t got a chance! We haz kittens!”

Originally posted on
Updated on

This weekend, Belgium's government placed the country and its capital city of Brussels under the highest level of terror alert due to an "imminent threat." The capital's metro and schools have been shut down through Monday.

In the middle of the tense situation, the country's police force asked its citizens on Twitter to not post any details about police activity they are witnessing. They used the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown.

Par sécurité, veuillez respecter le silence radio sur les médias sociaux concernant les opérations de police en cours à #Bruxelles. Merci

"For security, please respect the radio silence on social media concerning the police operations underway in Brussels," the police wrote. "Thanks."

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Belgians for the most part are respecting the police's wishes — but they are doing something else as well.

You can't keep hiding. #BrusselsLockdown

They are responding to the situation with humor, by posting cute cat pictures with the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown.

Dogs are included too!

I'm more a dog person. #rememberdiesel #BrusselsLockdown

Belgians are imagining who the prime suspects could be...

Exclusive picture of the man the police is looking for #BrusselsLockdown

But they have backup.

BREAKING NEWS : Belgium Police using the new 200mph Hovercat during terrorist operations #BrusselsLockdown

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"This, dear outsiders, is how we fight terrorism here. They haven't got a chance! We haz kittens!"

This, dear outsiders, is how we fight terrorism here. They haven't got a chance! We haz kittens! #BrusselsLockdown

They've got some high tech methods!

Darko is using his satellite dish to track the bad guys ... Almost there #BrusselsLockdown

Other people urged Belgians to relax in this stressful time.

While others said they are eager to come out of hiding.

Is it safe to come out yet? #BrusselsLockdown

As the cat pictures began to spread, people from other countries began to tweet in support as well.

Well played Belgium. Not giving in to fear and turning #BrusselsLockdown into the best hashtag of 2015 #Cats

Kitties from all over the world showed their support.

Pumpkin shows solidarity with the #BrusselsLockdown

As the movement grew online, Belgian authorities tweeted they were thankful that everyone was so respectful of their wishes.

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

On Monday, the federal police tweeted a photo of cat food to thanks all the "cats" for their support.

Voor de katten die ons gisteren geholpen hebben... Alsjeblieft! #BrusselsLockdown

"For all those cats who helped us yesterday…please!" they wrote.

Well played, Belgium, well played.

Raids are taking place. Authorities asked not tweet. So people tweet cat picts. Love my people #BrusselsLockDown

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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