[UPDATE BELOW]

For the past year, the Brooklyn Free Store, which was once described as a "living, breathing example of an anti-capitalist way of being," operated out of a vacant lot in Bed-Stuy, where everyone was welcome to choose from an eclectic array of free stuff displayed under a big tarp. Then it burned down on March 19th, in a fire that spread to a three-story house next door, which had to be demolished. The FDNY is investigating the blaze—the third arson attempt at the "store"—because it appears to have been set intentionally, and FBI sources now tell WNBC it may be the work of an anarchist with the Animal Liberation Front, or ALF. (HA!)

It's unclear why ALF would have targeted the Brooklyn Free Store, but the anarchists involved in the project told the Awl when they cleared the lot they removed some rotting dead animals (including a dead chicken and turtle). So maybe ALF believes discarding animal corpses is their job? On the other hand, ALF activists are more known for liberating animals from research laboratories, so perhaps this is just part of some internecine anarchist squabble that's not worth the headache to unravel.

We contacted the Brooklyn Free Store to see if they have any insight as to why ALF might be after them, but ALF is considered a violent domestic terrorist group by the US Justice Department (hardly surprising considering ALF's cryptically violent catchphrase, "I KILL me!"). A source associated with ALF says that if we don't stop making obvious '80s sit-com references, they're going to come burn our house down.

UPDATE: A representative of the Brooklyn Free Store tells us, "We do not know who started the fire but we are confident that it wasn't ALF, just as we are confident it wasn't Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. We support the aims of the ALF."