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Robert De Niro target of suspicious package in TriBeCa, NYPD says

The device in the package was similar to those sent to prominent Democrats, the mayor said.

A suspicious package addressed to actor Robert De

A suspicious package addressed to actor Robert De Niro was found at a building in TriBeCa Thursday morning, police said. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

A device resembling the apparent pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats in recent days was sent to actor Robert De Niro and found Thursday morning at a TriBeCa building where his restaurant is located, officials said.

The package was found sometime after 4 a.m. at the building on Greenwich and Franklin streets, police said. The building houses De Niro's Tribeca Grill restaurant and the Tribeca Film Center, started by De Niro and film producer Jane Rosenthal.

“That device [was] very similar to the other devices that have been located in the last 48 hours, and it all appears to be from the same sender,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at an unrelated news conference Thursday morning.

Police were tipped off about the explosive device by a retired NYPD intelligence bureau detective who saw an image of what the other packages looked like on the news, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said.

"It struck him that that looked very much like a package he has seen on Tuesday," while screening mail for De Niro's offices, Miller added.

The NYPD removed the device at about 6:30 a.m. and took it to a facility in the Bronx, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. It was then sent to the FBI's facility in Quantico, Virginia for further analysis.

De Niro, like the other recipients of the packages, is a critic of President Donald Trump. He had hurled an obscenity at Trump at the Tony Awards in June.

Two other packages, addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden, were found Thursday in Delaware, the FBI said.

Earlier this week, seven suspected pipe bombs were sent to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ex-CIA director John Brennan, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder, California Rep. Maxine Waters and liberal donor George Soros.

The package addressed to Brennan was delivered to CNN's mailroom in the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle Wednesday, prompting an evacuation of the building.

The FBI has launched an investigation into the devices, which were packaged in manila envelopes with bubble wrap on the inside and computer-printed address labels on the exterior. Each one included a return address for “Debbie Wasserman Shultz (sic),” a current U.S. representative and the former chair of the Democratic National Committee.

"We are working quickly to process and analyze relevant information from the suspicious packages recovered over the last few days," FBI assistant director in charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. "We will continue to do so for as long as it takes."

Trump on Twitter Thursday morning blamed the media for the “anger” in the country.

“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” he wrote. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”

With Alison Fox, Lauren Cook and Reuters


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