The NYPD removed a suspicious package from the Time Warner Center, the home of CNN’s New York City offices, a couple hours after a fire alarm interrupted CNN’s broadcast Wednesday morning.
The package was reportedly addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who is a contributor for NBC News and MSNBC but has appeared on CNN in the past.
The Associated Press reported that the package is believed to contain a pipe bomb, according to unnamed law enforcement officials.
At a press conference later Wednesday, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the package “appeared [to responding officers] to be a live explosive device.” He also said “an envelope of white powder … was discovered as part of that original packaging,” and that law enforcement was “in the middle investigating that right now.”
John Miller, the NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said “so far, the devices have been what appear to be pipe bombs.”
The Secret Service intercepted potential explosive devices reportedly addressed to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama on Wednesday. On Monday, a bomb was found in the mailbox of a home owned by liberal philanthropist and donor George Soros.
NBC News’ Tom Winter reported on air that the devices sent to Soros, Obama and Clinton all carried the same return address, of “a prominent former Democratic Party official,” and were all in manila-colored packages.
Winter said the device sent to CNN “is very similar, if not exactly similar, to what was found in the other three packages.”
Various outlets later broadcast a picture of the device, with the address to which the package was sent: “JOHN BRENAN [sic]” at “TIME WARNER (CNN).”
In an email to New York CNN employees, CNN President Jeff Zucker wrote that the Time Warner Center had been “evacuated out of an abundance of caution, as a result of a suspicious package having been received in the mailroom.” He added in a later email: “We continue to remain alert in New York. The NYPD is currently in the building assessing the situation. I can confirm that we have checked all of our bureaus worldwide, and have found no other devices at this time.”
“Our building in New York has been evacuated because the NYPD is now investigating a suspicious package,” CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz said on air from Washington, D.C. shortly after the alarm was heard on air in New York.
“I’m told by a law enforcement officials that the bomb squad is responding to the office to check on this suspicious device,” he added, saying later on air: “I’m being told by a law enforcement official that in fact this suspicious package was found in the mailroom, so probably, obviously, sent through the mail.”
Watch the alarm go off on air below:
Before long, CNN’s Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, whose broadcast the evacuation disrupted, were reporting from the streets of New York City:
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A couple hours after the suspicious device was first discovered, the NYPD removed it from the Time Warner Center: