Suspected Pipe Bomb Mailed to De Niro Removed from Tribeca Film Center

Greenwich Street, between Hubert and Harrison Streets, was the scene of a massive response by emergency personnel following the discovery of a suspicious package at the Tribeca Film Center. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Oct. 25, 2018

Greenwich Street in Tribeca teemed with law enforcement officials Thursday morning following the discovery at the Tribeca Film Center of a package containing what officials are calling a “suspected explosive device similar to those delivered to prominent Democrats and CNN over the past several days. The FBI confirmed that the package was addressed to Robert De Niro, whose Tribeca Productions offices are in the building.

The FBI said the package was “similar in appearance” to two others addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden in Delaware, also found Thursday morning. The packages reportedly bore the same type of packaging and labeling as the ones containing devices recently sent to at least nine other potential recipients.

The device contained a black powder and “what appeared to be broken glass,” which had been in a bin for two days awaiting screening, the Daily News reported. Officials said Thursday afternoon that they have determined the powder did not pose a biological threat and was undergoing continued analysis.

Early Thursday morning a retired NYPD Intelligence Bureau detective, who screens mail at the Tribeca Film Center, was watching the news at home when he saw a picture of packaging smilar to those used for other devices, John Miller, the the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, told a press briefing Thursday afternoon. The package resembled an envelope he recalled seeing on Tuesday addressed to De Niro and waiting to be screened. “Based on his experience, he knew how to call the Bomb Squad directly to the scene,” Miller said. “They were met by Emergency Services who, with the 1st Precinct, were able to locate, based on the securuty director's instructions, the package where he described it.

The package was removed by the Bomb Squad around 6:30 a.m.

“We handled that pretty swiftly and with the ultimate amount of carefulness and concern,” Capt. Angel Figueroa, the 1st precinct's commanding officer, told a meeting of the precinct's Community Council Thursday evening. “Thank God that it happened during the hours that it did because it helped us with the pedestrian control and the vehicular control, because that would have been very problematic.

“We wrapped it up by the time we were turning out the [8 a.m] day tour,” Figueroa added. So that's pretty damn fast.