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Chicago area police investigate after this threatening message is found on hundreds of cars

Image source: NBC Chicago

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information.

Police in Aurora, Illinois were investigating after cards warning residents that "something terrible is going to happen" on New Year's Eve were found on hundreds of vehicles throughout the Chicago suburb in what was likely an attention-grabbing campaign from anti-abortion activists.

The ominous notes were discovered on cars at the Fox Valley mall, Wheaton Bible College, the AMC movie theater in South Barrington and Willow Creek Church, according to NBC Chicago.

While the cards are certainly concerning to residents, local authorities are saying they "do not want the community to panic" because there are several law enforcement agencies looked into the development.

Here's what the note said in full, according to the APD:

Something terrible is going to happen in Aurora 12/31/16. The wise will find the truth and act before it is too late. If you are vigilant and watchful the clues will appear as you travel the roadways. The answer is all around you but will you find it before the evil is done?

The cards also read, "Seek it happens 12/31/16 in the book of face." A Facebook page with similar language was set up then briefly taken down. It has since been reactivated.

According to the Chicago Tribune, there is an anti-abortion group likely behind the distribution of the black-and-white cards. "We believe it may be related to an anti-abortion group," police spokesman Dan Ferrelli told the newspaper.

"This is the terrible event that is going to happen on 12/31/16," a status on the group's Facebook page read. "Around 30 pre-born boys and girls are scheduled to be mass-murdered at Planned Parenthood in Aurora because their parents decided that murder was better than being good parents, that mutilating their child to death was better than adoption."

However, the nearest Planned Parenthood is closed on Dec. 31, as well as Dec. 24, 26 and Jan. 2, for the holidays, according to spokeswoman Julie Lynn. In addition, she said, Planned Parenthood is unsure how the group would know how many appointments were scheduled at the center any given day.

"Because [abortion] is reproductive health care, it's part of the full range of services Planned Parenthood provides," Lynn said. "It's unfortunate these people are using scare tactics to frighten the community. … We are going to keep providing services for the people who need us most."

Local law enforcement said no one has filed a formal complaint regarding the cards.

"While we’re not certain as to what the meaning behind the messages are, we do not want the community to panic," an early statement from the department read. "The incidents do serve as an excellent illustration of everyone’s role in keeping our community safe in that any suspicious behavior, no matter how insignificant it may seem, should be called into 911 immediately. If possible, taking a photograph or video of the suspicious behavior is also recommended as long as doing so would not put someone in immediate danger."

In a federal security bulletin issued last week, the New York Police Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security voiced concerns "about unaffiliated lone offenders and homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) targeting" the Times Square celebration — one of the biggest in the U.S.

To date, though, the memo read, there is "no information to indicate a specific, credible threat to or associated with the Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 celebration in New York City."

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