It started with a report in The New York Post:
The FBI released an alert Monday warning the NYPD and police departments nationwide of a potentially dangerous anarchist group that says it plans to ambush cops on Halloween.
The extremist group—known as the National Liberation Militia—has proposed a "Halloween Revolt" that encourages supporters to cause a disturbance to attract police and then viciously attack them, the FBI said.
That's quite a tale. It's almost as if someone took one of those old urban legends about gang initiations, mashed it up with those recurring fears of a war on cops, and replaced the gangsters with a cabal of well-worn political villains. (Anarchists! Militias! No, wait: an anarchist militia! For "national liberation," 'cause anarchists are all about nations, right?) And then baked the batter in what may be America's biggest urban-legend-producing oven, Halloween.
As the resulting story spreads through the media, some outlets have applied some icing of their own, adding allusions to "The Purge" and to Black Lives Matter. It's a wonder no one has worked in Slender Man.
I have not yet been able to locate a copy of the original FBI bulletin, but the document does appear to exist. The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed receiving it, as have several departments in Arizona, and the police website LEO Affairs has posted an alert reportedly circulated by the NYPD:
Note that this "National Liberation Militia" has "no known New York City members" and that "there is currently no known nexus between this threat and the NYPD or New York City."
This whole thing seems about as plausible as that debunked gang conspiracy to "take-out" Baltimore cops this past April. But the story is spreading through the media, and some publications aren't even bothering to hedge it. That LEO Affairs piece? It's headlined "Anarchists plan to ambush cops on Halloween," as though the plot is a settled fact. Happy Halloween, everyone.