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Belgians Use Cats to Fight Terrorism
By: Jessica Cherok
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In response to continued fears regarding terror attacks in Europe, as well as information that an attack could be imminent in a crowded place, authorities in Brussels requested that the public not post information about their operations on social media. Authorities feared terrorists could be monitoring social media as part of a new attack.

The people of Brussels responded in the most Internet way possible — with cats.

Belgians were asked to stay inside in order to allow authorities to conduct anti-terrorism investigations. In addition to staying out of harm's way, citizens were asked to keep quiet on what police activities they saw as to not tip off suspected terrorists.

As the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown began trending on Twitter, the number of cat pictures and memes began to grow, the hope being that the cat posts would muffle any actual posts about the anti-terror operations, thereby keeping both citizens and authorities safe.

In total, 16 people were arrested in Belgium, and the threat level remains at its highest. Still, authorities appreciated the cooperation and the cats. From the federal police's Twitter account came the tweet, "To all the cats who helped us last night: help yourselves! #BrusselsLockdown" with a bowl of kibble pictured.


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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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