This weekend, the Belgian capital of Brussels was placed under the highest level of terror alert for what the Belgian prime minister called a “serious and imminent threat.” On Sunday, Defense Minister Steven Vandeput requested social media silence on police movements as they conducted a series of raids related to the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.
No doubt anxious after a weekend on high alert, Belgians took to social media and in an amusing act of solidarity: They tweeted cat pictures. So many cat pictures.
By Sunday night, the hashtag had nearly 200,000 mentions.
While Internet users did what they do best, Belgian police detained 16 suspects, and afterward, authorities thanked the Internet.
"The federal prosecutor and the police services must thank the press and social media users for taking into account the needs of the ongoing operation," prosecutors' office spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt said during a press conference.
Today, Brussels’ schools and subway system remain closed as authorities continue to search for people suspected of planning attacks on the city. And the cat photos are still coming.