tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN October 24, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
all right. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow in new york along with jim sciutto. we have big breaking news this morning. two suspicious packages that were intended to be delivered to the homes of former president barack obama and former presidential nominee and secretary of state hillary clinton. they have both been intercepted by the secret service. the packages have been described as, quote, potential explosive devices. >> at least one of them detonated by the secret service out of an abundance of caution. joining us now, cnn crime and justice reporter shimon prokupecz. what's the latest? the natural question will become, are they related? plus, you had another explosive device sent to democratic supporter george soros. >> well, i can tell you right now authorities, the police, the fbi, secret service, are all engaged in this investigation. what i'm being told by officials is that they're treating all three as being linked in that they believe that they are all
basically constructed, sent by the same person. they obviously don't know that definitively, but they have indications to them, to law enforcement, based on what they have seen so far from these devices, from these packages that indicates they're linked. so that obviously changes things dramatically. as far as authorities are now concerned, someone is targeting perhaps democrats, democratic politicians, people who were in office or are connected to the democratic party. that is why the fbi's joint terrorism task force is now involved in this investigation. so this investigation is potentially going to grow beyond just washington, d.c., and new york. i'm also told by law enforcement officials that they've actually stepped up security around any sites that are connected to the former president, president obama, to hillary clinton. so we'll see locations perhaps in chicago and new york with stepped up security, security around the two of them has been
increased as well as security around sites connected to george soros. so police in many states, authorities in many states now concerned there could be more potential packages. obviously the secret service and fbi now taking further precautions so when they do intercept packages, they know exactly what they're dealing with to prevent these from getting to the targeted people. the other thing that's interesting, as you said, jim, some of these packages were detonated by authorities once they realized what it was. they themselves caused it to explode and then began their investigation. obviously there's now a full-scale manhunt to try and figure out who is sending this, why this is being sent, to prevent any further damage. we're also told it appears bill clinton may have been at the home last.
hillary clinton was not. we don't know where former president barack obama is or was last night. the good thing here is the secret service has these precautions in place, these procedures where they are able to intercept these packages and search them and x-ray them to make sure, to see what's inside so it doesn't get to the people they're protecting. >> and keep in mind, the obamas still live in washington. one of their daughters still lives there as well. those are significant developments. one, that they're being investigated as linked, but two, as shimon was saying, the possibility that others were sent. so it might be even bigger. >> shimon, stay with us. let's go to jean casarez. she's been news gathering on the phone. what have you learned? >> well, we're on our way up there right now. for people that don't live in the new york area, chappaqua is upstate new york. it's about an hour out of new
york city. it's interesting that the secret service is saying this morning that the packages were actually identified during routine mail screening. so i think at this point we don't know exactly how close to the residences the packages got. it was late last night the secret service is saying that a single package was addressed to our former first lady hillary clinton. then it was early this morning that mail screeners discovered a package to former president obama. they were intercepted at that point. neither person had received the packages at all. they were never at risk, but there is, as shimon said, a full criminal investigation now with federal, state, and local partners because they have to find out who is sending these. are they correlated? and they are treating them as an explosive device. we don't know if they've confirmed that they are explosive devices, but they are treating them as part of this very important investigation right now. >> tom fuentes on the line as
well, cnn senior law enforcement analyst, also a former fbi assistant director. as you look at this, and again, this is early. we're just learning about this in the last 24 hours. the fbi has made no conclusions about who's behind this and how they are linked, but they see commonalities here. when you see that, how concerning is this if this is one person targeting multiple former officials with explosive devices? >> well, jim, it is concerning. at this point, the linkage is from the basis it's coincidental that packages would be mailed to the homes of two former presidents almost simultaneously. but the secret service does all the screening of any mail addressed to any of these residences, known residences of former presidents. they're under lifetime protection. so this would automatically happen to screen their mail for anything suspicious.
once a suspicious package is determined or an actual explosive device, the fbi has jurisdiction if there's any potential harm or actual harm to a former president, former first lady, or two former presidents in this case. that's why they think it's so coincidental. they're small packages that were sent in the mail. beyond that, i've talked to officials at fbi headquarters. they're not going to say anything at this point beyond that. the analysis will try to determine whether the explosives were actually constructed from the same type of material, in the same manner, what the detonation was going to be like. all of that information would then lead them to a more definitive conclusion that the same person or small group of people constructed the devices and sent those devices in the mail. >> as we also bring in james galliano, one of the interesting notes when you look at the explosive device that ended up in george soros' mailbox as well
is that it is reported from "the new york times" that was not zli delivered by the u.s. postal service. if you're trying to figure out -- these are within ten miles of one another, the clintons' home and soros' home. obviously all democrats. you're trying to determine if this is the same entity or person carrying this out, what is the first thing you're looking at, james? >> sure. well, first of all, poppy, the fbi has to treat this as a terrorist act. we know there are bomb components involved in this. generally speaking, there's four parts to a bomb that investigators will be looking at. they'll be looking at what type of power supply is used. those are typically a battery. what kind of an initiator. those are blasting caps. obviously the bomb maker chooses a particular type of explosive. it could be pten. it could be c-4. then the switch. the switch is typically a trip wire or plate. they could be initiated by a key fob or cell phone.
somebody would have to be in the area to do that. i agree with tom. it's tough right now until they've had a chance to disassemble these bomb components to make the linkage. the only thing that they could possibly have to surmise -- >> james, sorry to jump in. let's go back to shimon, who has some important breaking news on this front. another development. shimon, what are you learning? >> that's right, poppy. this comes from law enforcement officials from our cnn's evan perez, who says that another pipe bomb or possibly a suspicious package, explosive device addressed to the white house was intercepted at a white house mail screening area. we're told by officials that device, that suspicious package is similar to the ones that were sent to soros' home and similar to the ones sent to the homes of clinton and obviously barack obama. now, we're told by this official that the device appears to be rudimentary but functional and that also more concerning here even is that the white house
package also contained projectiles. so clearly this is a growing situation here. certainly scary now when we have at least four suspicious packages, which all appear to be linked, now sent to various political locations. you have the white house. you have one addressed to barack obama, hillary clinton, and george soros. obviously this is growing. certainly the fbi, secret service all over this. we're told that more people are being brought in to investigate this. the fbi's joint terrorism task force is taking the lead on this investigation. >> listen, that's significant. these are no longer suspicious packages. the fbi is saying that they were rudimentary but functional. that means they were explosive devices. to have projectiles, that's -- excuse me. that sounds like a fire alarm here. we'll keep you posted. to have projectiles, that's a feature you'll often seen in bombs that terrorists use in afghanistan, elsewhere, isis has
used that kind of bomb before. doesn't mean it's exclusive just to those kinds of terrorist groups, but that's a significant development. tom fuentes, if you're still hearing us here, they're connected now. the bombs targtsieting soros, clinton, obama, and the white house. the fbi says they were functional. how significant is that? >> well, it's significant in that it wasn't just a hoax. if the bombs are capable of inflicting body harm, it's more than just a hoax to get public attention, the e kwif lequivale pulling a fire alarm, like maybe somebody just did in your building. but it's more than just an idle threat or something to try to get attention. it's an actual device that could hurt somebody. >> okay. we're going to jump in. there's a fire alarm here. >> you might have heard it in the background. we're going to find out the latest here at cnn. we'll be right back.
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evacuate the studio. we're going to bring in cnn crime and justice reporter shimon prokupecz. tell us, what do you know about what's happening in new york city at this hour? >> right. so as we were coming on the air just a short time ago with poppy harlow and jim sciutto, who were anchoring from our set in new york, the fire alarms started going off. our viewers perhaps could see that. our building in new york has been evacuated because the nypd is now investigating a suspicious package, something that was sent to the building at 10 columbus circle, which is in new york, and it is our offices in new york, the building that houses our offices in new york. i'm told by a law enforcement official that the bomb squad is responding to the office to check on this suspicious device. we don't know if the package was actually addressed to cnn or to someone else in the building, but as a precaution, the building there, the nypd along
with the bomb squad, have said the building should be evacuated. they're going to respond and investigate the package. obviously growing concern given all the news that we're reporting here this morning about explosive devices being sent to the former president, president obama, to hillary clinton. we also just moments ago reported that a fourth explosive device was sent to the white house and intercepted in a mail room. now authorities, as i've been saying this morning, are increasingly concerned that there could be more packages, more explosive devices that were sent elsewhere, perhaps around the country, in other cities. so taking no precautions obviously -- taking overprecautions, i should say, in that they're now evacuating buildings. authorities in new york are certainly on heightened alert because some of these devices were sent to areas in new york. the nypd there has stepped up security around locations out of
concern. so obviously now we're waiting to learn exactly what was in this package at the time warner center where our offices have been evacuated. >> okay. shimon, stick with us. we're going to go live now on the phone to jim sciutto, who was anchoring but is now outside of the time warner building. jim, if you can hear me, i guess the first thing i want to hear from you is what is happening now, and what are you seeing at this moment? >> we're standing outside our headquarters here. poppy harlow is here with me. there's a new york police department bomb squad here. also, members of the strategic response group. the new york police department has a very fact-acting, quick-response group to respond exactly to incidents like this one, including incidences suspected of terrorism. so we have four or five police units here, new york police
officers here with the response unit, moving poppy and myself, all of our cnn colleagues out on the street here. obviously serious enough to evacuate the building, take us off the air from new york. listen, as it happens, poppy and i were reporting on the air about the series of other explosive devices received at the residences of clinton and obama, at the white house now, and with the new suspicions that those devices were linked. of course, the question now, whether this one is linked to those. certainly the timing is, at the very least, suspicious here. again, just as we're standing here on the street, the police being very cautious, as you would expect them to be. they want us to get as far away from the building as possible because if it is indeed an explosive device sent here, they want to reduce the risk to all of us here. they don't know if there's something else that might be connected to it. we are seeing a robust response
from the new york police department here. >> and jim, we don't have images right now of outside of the building, so if you can set the scene for me, do you get a sense from where you're standing where or the general vicinity of where this device may be in relation to the time warner building? >> well, let's ee, the police have not told us exactly where the device is, i don't believe. if it's been mailed in to cnn, like other organizations in this day and age, they have a screening process for suspicious packages. so we don't know. i can't see from here. in fact, i've taken a picture which i'm going to tweet out now. we don't see an obvious device that's been singled out or cordoned off on the street here. i'm just trying to get a better look. i will tell you, there are a dozen police vehicles now. those officers part of the strategic response unit. it's not clear if the device was able to get inside the building.
>> okay. stay with us, jim. we're going to go back to shimon prokupecz, who's live in the newsroom here in d.c. you have more information. shimon, what can you tell us now? >> rené, i'm being told by a law enforcement official that, in fact, this suspicious package was found in the mail room, obviously probably sent through the mail, at 10 columbus circle, which houses our offices in new york. i'm told that when they looked at this package, and obviously i have to tell you security all across the country this morning at offices across the country has been increased, folks looking for these suspicious packages. something in that package concerned them. i don't want to get too specific about it, but there are things in this package, items in this package that were discovered at our offices in new york that concerned security, perhaps the staff in the mail room, that they decided to call the police given the news of this morning,
given what's going on with these other explosive devices. the police have moved in, and they're obviously taking every precaution. i'm told by officials that there are things in this package. they don't yet know if it's explosive material. certainly there are things in this package that make it look very suspicious and has them concerned. that's why we're seeing our offices in new york evacuated. i'm also told that the area around manhattan, around our building, just about a block south, 57th street, is being shut down. what we see in these kinds of situations, the police and the fire department responding, closing down the area, evacuating buildings. so serious concern here from the police in new york. >> all right. shimon, stick with us. we also have tom fuentes, who's joining us here. tom, i want to bring you into the conversation because right now we're talking about over a span of 24 hours, we have five suspicious devices that have
been intercepted. you're looking at this all unfold. what do you make of all of this? >> well, rené, from my perspective, it looks to me like some type of domestic terrorism. somebody is trying to cause chaos, and it may not necessarily be one side against the democratic party or another side against the republican. the fact that we have now the white house receiving a package, obviously with a republican administration, and now cnn or the area of cnn, the complex of buildings at time warner in columbus circle in new york, receiving a suspicious package. >> we're actually look at a photo that jim sciutto just tweeted us from outside of the building there. sorry to interrupt, but that's a photo of the large police presence there responding outside of cnn. but go ahead. to you, you say this looks like a case of terrorism. >> yes, domestic terrorism, someone trying to get -- you know, cause chaos basically in
our process. now you have buildings being shut down, two former presidents' residences receiving packages or mail directed toward those residences. fortunately, most of the large public buildings, particularly federal buildings in washington, use off sites to have their mail screened long before they actually get to the white house or the capitol or department of justice, state department, fbi headquarters, the pentagon. they're not received at the building first and then screened. same thing with both former presidents, clinton and obama. secret service screens their mail so that they're somewhat protect l protected from that. that's why you have this screening process. now because of an abundance of caution, they're going to make sure that any possible building receiving anything suspicious is going to be closed down and a major investigation and search launched at those buildings. >> tom, walk me through this
right now. clearly this is all unfolding as we speak. what is happening now from the law enforcement perspective? detail it for me as far as what steps are currently being taken now. >> well, the first step is the examination of the devices. how are they put together? do they look like they were made by the same person or small group of persons? how were they packaged? how were they going to be detonated? then where were they mailed or delivered from? these were placed in the mail to come to the columbus circle mail screening or the white house mail screening or the clinton and obama residential screening process. where are were they mailed from? does that indicate a small group of persons or a single person? then the actual devices will be forensically examined in detail for hairs, fibers, fingerprints that can link someone later. >> okay, tom. pause for one second. we want to get back outside of
the cnn center. we're following this breaking news. the time warner building has been evacuated, and we're joined right now by the anchors -- they were anchoring at this hour but had to evacuate. poppy harlow and jim sciutto. what are you seeing at this point? >> rené, we're outside safely. all of our cnn colleagues that we know of are outside right now. everyone is safe, as we can see. we have some reporting. jim was just able to confirm, i believe -- >> the team that responds to situations like this, they're very quick. they get there within minutes, seconds, things like this that may be tied to terrorism. they say the device is inside the cnn building. it was a package that was mailed that made it into the building, caught apparently at screening. as you see -- they're still concerned about the safety.
>> and to catch our viewers up, about ten minutes ago we heard the fire alarm go off while we were anchoring the show, reporting on these explosive devices, suspicious packages delivered to the former president's home of barack obama. we were told a suspicious package at cnn, evacuate immediately. the lights shut off. we walked down six flights of stairs. they're now moving us, jim and i and everyone here from cnn, all the way down the block towards 9th avenue, very far away. >> and what's the sense, guys? >> -- just as we were on the air before this happened -- the concern from the fbi was these various packages are linked. >> of course, those were in upstate new york and washington. this is in midtown manhattan.
the police here saying quick, quick, quick, move, move, move. they want us not even across the street, rené, from cnn. they want us across the avenue, as far away from the building. by the way, it is not just cnn. [ inaudible ] >> just to set the scene of the response here -- and again, one of our colleagues is walking backwards here. there are dozens of vehicles here. there's a fire engine. there are ambulances up here. the new york bomb squad unit right in front of the building. they're taking this very seriously. there's another fire truck arriving as well. they're taking it very seriously. >> you have the best of the best
here for precaution, should this be a danger. again, this is a huge response. there are ambulances, police vehicles, fire trucks. they have actually completely brought us to west 58th street. this is one of the main thoroughfares in new york city that's completely shut down to pedestrians. >> this is downtown new york t right in the center here. it's showing the level of seriousness with the response we're seeing here right now. keep in mind, these new york police department teams train for this. they train for quick response, get on the scene immediately when they face threats like this. you remember the attempted explosive device a couple months ago. >> rené, are you still with us?
can you hear us? >> yes, we are still here. thank you, guys, for kind of laying the land here. i want to reset before we turn things over to wolf blitzer. again, you guys are there outside of the time warner building. to be very clear, authorities found this suspicious item inside of the time warner building. according to shimon prokupecz, it was inside of the mail room. this is just one of five suspicious devices over the last 24 hours. i'm going to hand things over to wolf blitzer, who's standing by now, to continue our coverage. >> disturbing information, very disturbing developments unfolding in multiple places right now. a suspicious package. looking at live pictures coming in from new york city. the time warner center, headquarters of cnn in new york. you're looking at poppy harlow and jim sciutto. they, together with all of our colleagues at cnn in new york city, have been evacuated from the time warner center. others have been evacuated as well.
once again, a very suspicious package that new york city police, law enforcement are involved in. jim sciutto and poppy harlow, i wonder if you can hear me. >> i can hear you, wolf. poppy it hear next to me. the police are doing their job. we tried to move a little closer to get a better look, but they've asked us to move up to the corner, almost a block away from the entrance. you can hear behind us, wolf, this is another police emergency squad unit arriving. i've seen now two ambulances arriving. we're not aware of any injuries. we haven't been told of any injuries. although, the police couldn confirm to me that the suspected explosive device did get in the building of cnn. again, just to show the level of concern, they're moving us well down the street from the entrance to the building. they're now moving us even further away. wolf, you know, you've covered situations like this before.
you know they do not, rightfully so, leave anything to chance. they want to get you back. we're respecting that decision because the new york police department has an enormous amount of experience in this. we want to follow their judgment here. i'm going to hand the phone to poppy. >> jim and poppy, i'm going to get back to you in a moment. i want the viewers to get the latest information. like the police are suggesting, everybody move away from the time warner center at columbus circle in new york as quickly as possible. all of this is unfolding, the suspicious package at the time warner center where cnn's new york bureau is located. at the same time, there have been suspicious packages delivered not only to former president obama's residence here in washington, d.c., former president clinton's residence in chappaqua, new york, as well as the white house. the white house just issued a statement saying, quote, we condemn the attempted violent
attacks recently made against president obama, president clinton, secretary clinton, and other public figures. these terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. the united states secret service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards. that from the white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders. poppy, if you're still there, i know our viewers here in the united states and around the world, many of them are just tuning in. update us precisely what you and jim sciutto and all of our colleagues at the cnn new york bureau were told. >> okay. wolf, this is exactly what happened. just about 15 minutes ago, jim and i were on the show anchoring, and the fire alarm went off. that does not happen as a routine practice during the show. we immediately could tell something was wrong. we evacuated. the lights were turned off. as we got out, the entire cnn team was also evacuated.
we are now -- they've moved us from across the street to as far away from the cnn center as we can possibly get. jim and i ask to go back to ask the authorities more questions. they said no, no, no. you could hear the severity in their voice. jim was also able to confirm with his sources that this package was delivered inside of the building. wolf, can you still hear us? >> yeah, i hear you, poppy. i want you and everyone else to listen to what law enforcement in new york city is saying now. move away as quickly as possible. shimon prokupecz is with us as well. i want to alert our viewers that we're hear in the cnn washington, d.c., bureau. we're safe. there's no suspicious packages here. everything is clear here. but shimon, i know you're speaking to law enforcement. update us on what you're hearing. >> yeah, certainly a lot of concern within the law enforcement community that will could be other suspicious packages out there.
i know this morning law enforcement officials were stepping up security, concern for this kind of situation. they are treating this as a real explosive device. i'm told by law enforcement officials in new york that the bomb squad there believes they have this under control. they will likely take this device, this suspicious package, and probably place it in a secure area. they have this truck that they bring in they they put it in, and they will probably detonate it. serious concern now here in new york as the police are treating this as the real deal. there are similarities in what was found at the time warner center to the other devices, the other explosives we have been talking about this morning, the other four that were intercepted by the secret service and by police in new york. so obviously that is concerning authorities. just to give our viewers some idea of what was found at the time warner center, i'm told that it looks sort of like a
pipe bomb, kind of what we have seen in other incidents we've been reporting on. there are wires attached to this or wires inside this package. but i'm told they believe, most important here, authorities believe at this point they have this particular situation under control. also, just so our viewers know, why we keep seeing police move people back is because they now think they're potentially dealing with a very serious incident and this is a real explosive. as they start to remove this and start to work on this suspicious package, they need to move people back. >> we know that according to our evan perez, the suspicious package that was addressed to the white house was intercepted at joint base bowling here in washington, d.c. jim and poppy, you guys are pretty far away right now, but i
understand you're getting more information. >> that's right. this is coming from the new york police department. police say at this point there are no injuries from this incident. >> here in new york at cnn. >> here in new york. several floors of the cnn center have been evacuated, our floor included. at this point, negative on the question of whether there have been any injuries here. our concern was raised because we've seen a number of ambulances. they are exercising active precaution here because they don't know in incidences like this the extent of the threat. is there a secondary attack plan? are there other devices they don't know about? so again, these guys are trained for this. they train for it every day.
they stage little mock responses all the time for incidents like this, to get on the scene quickly. we saw them in a real life scenario here do just that. >> the first responders have been remarkable here, as have all of our cnn colleagues who helped us get out safely and get us up on the air here to bring you the news as it is happening. how quickly this all
transpired, wolf, i think is important to note. after our show began this morning, jim and i reported about these suspicious explosive devices going to the homes of former presidents clinton and obama and then to the white house. it was just minutes later that we heard there was one here at cnn as well. this all transpired in less than an hour. the concern is how coordinated could this have been. >> yeah, it's a very, very disturbing development because as you guys point out, there have been several suspicious packages delivered to george soros, the democratic billionaire who's been funding a
lot of these activities on behalf of democrats outside of new york
city. chappaqua, new york, the hillary and bill clinton residence. that package was delivered off site. similarly, the suspicious package delivered to the residence here in washington, d.c., of former president obama. that was found off site. a suspicious package addressed to the white house was intercepted at joint base bolling here in washington, d.c. poppy, how far away from time warner are you guys right now? >> so jim and i are all of our colleagues here are standing on the corner of 9th avenue and -- we are half a block away from -- they did not want us to stay anywhere near the building. they would not let us stay across the street.
2 just shows you how high the concern is. we asked to go up there as reporters, ask questions. they were not allowing that. >> keep in mind, wolf, this is downtown new york. they have shut down a city street here in new york in the middle of the day and deployed dozens of officers, a dozen police vehicles, including the bomb squad. again, a demonstration of how seriously they're taking this. >> and we understand, jim and poppy, that this device discovered at the time warner center was actually discovered in the mail room at the time warner center. it was not discovered off site. have all the shops, all the businesses at the time warner center also been evacuated? >> to our knowledge, what the police are telling me is that several floors of our building have been evacuated. and that's an important detail. they say this package -- and apologies for another emergency vehicle here. another package made it in the
building. >> if you worked here every day as we do, you will know how careful they are in this building in particular. if you try to drive your car into the parking lot at the time warner center where cnn is in new york, they check under each vehicle with mirrors. they check in the trunk of every vehicle before it goes in. there are screening machines, x-ray machines for bags before you walk in the lobby every day. there are precautions in the mail room. so every precaution is always taken, but somehow it is believed from jim's reporting that this device was able to make it inside of the mail room. >> and i want to get shimon prokupecz into this for a second. is it the suspicion right now, shimon, based on your conversations with law enforcement that these various suspicious packages are, in fact, connected, the soros package, the clinton package, the obama package, the white house package, and the time warner center package? >> certainly, wolf.
police right now in new york, the nypd, the fbi there are treating it like it's all related. they're not taking any chances. as we said moments ago, because of what's inside this package and how it appears, some metal construction, perhaps piping, some wires, some other things in this box, it's concerning law enforcement, and they believe, at least at this point, that this could all be connected to the other packages that they've intercepted. so while they don't know definitively yet, because i don't get the sense they've been able to get inside what's in this package. our mail room in new york x-rays it. the bomb squad x-rays it. i think the hope is they'll remove this and then detonated it and then look inside and see what they find. but certainly every indication here, wolf, is that they are treating it as if it's related. they are treating it as if it's the real deal, meaning it's an explosive device. but the one good thing here is
that the nypd, the bomb squad, which is probably one of the best in the world, they believe that they have this under control and that this package, what's inside of it, isn't going to explode. but they obviously still are taking all sorts of precautions, which is why you're seeing both poppy and jim being moved back. streets around our building in new york on 58th street have been closed. they've closed streets north and south of our building in new york. the fire department is there. they have ambulances there. all the as a precaution, just in case if something was to go wrong, they could immediately respond to that and treat people. the bomb squad, interestingly, they go in. they're very good at this. i bet, wolf, 100% that this morning the nypd bomb squad, the intelligence division there was being briefed probably in realtime on these other suspicious packages, these other devices that the secret service intercepted and probably as they were being briefed about this, this call came in.
so they know what they're looking for. they know what the other devices, how they were constructed, what they were compromised of. so that way, they know what they're dealing with in this situation. it is perhaps related. law enforcement officials in new york are treating it as such. they've also taken other precautions around new york, other locations tied to george soros as well as bill and hillary clinton and the obamas around the country are going to see increased security. certainly at mail rooms, at homes. the fbi's joint terrorism task force has probably stood up a command post. they're going to go ahead and move forward and try and stop this before someone gets seriously hurt. >> we're getting some conflicting information, shimon. i'm going to get back to jim sciutto and poppy harlow. reuters now reporting no suspicious package was addressed to the white house, even though earlier we learned -- we were reporting that a suspicious package was addressed to the white house, intercepted at
joint base bolling here in washington, d.c. apparently, at least the initial reports, it was connected to the suspicious package over at the soros home earn a tand the home hillary and bill clinton in chappaqua, new york, and barack obama and michelle here in washington, d.c. jim sciutto and poppy harlow, you're a few blocks away now from the time warner center. i take it everybody in that building has been evacuated. is that right? >> well, several floors, we're told by the new york police department. several floors, including cnn's floors. one thing we've noticed arrive here, wolf, on the back of a police flat bed truck, is a containment vessel that the police use to transport explosive devices. it arrived under cover just a couple minutes ago. we already saw the bomb unit. they were here very quickly. the bomb disposal unit was here
quickly. they would be there to secure the area, assess the device. this device that just arrived now is there to transport the device away. at first i thought -- sometimes you'll see them explode the device, detonate it for safety. they say this is for transport of the device. >> that's notable given our reporting earlier on the devices delivered to president obama and secretary of state clinton's house. those were detonated. this one is not at this point, that we know of. >> they'll make the decision on the spot. if they want to get any more clues from the device down to design, even fingerprints, you can get that off a device. >> exactly. >> guys, i want you both to stand by. athena jones is also in new york. she's outside the time warner center. athena, tell our viewers where you are, what you're seeing, the latest information you're getting.
>> hi, guys. if you're talking to me, wolf, there's a lot going on here. as you can see, there's a huge police presence. we have another vehicle arriving on the scene. we've already seen more than a dozen, perhaps two dozen law enforcement officials. you can see this caravan driving through here now. we assume investigators are going in to look at the situation. there's a suspicious package here reported in time warner center. we're waiting to hear more information. we understand that this package may have contained pipes as well as other material. this is clearly a situation that is in flux. you have a whole city block that has been shut down here at 58th street. i'm standing at 8th avenue. there's a crowd of people that's already begun to gather. this all began just in the last hour when we heard fire alarms inside the building. oftentimes you think, well, is this really a real alarm?
what should i do? maybe i should ignore it. no, it turned out we learned very quickly this was a real situation. now here's the situation we're in, waiting to find out more about this suspicious package. >> athena, stand by. shimon, we can show our viewers there's a truck with a tarp on top of it. explain what local law enforcement is planning to do. there you see a live picture of this truck. tell us what the mission of this truck and this tarp is all about. >> right. so usually with those trucks, jim -- wolf, what happens is the police department has this. they will eventually probably place -- this thing is there so they can place this package in that truck and then drive it away to randall's island where the bomb squad is located. that's if they don't detonate it. they could use that truck as a place where they would detonate this. you may see a robot. you may see a bomb squad
officer, a detective from the nypd bomb squad. sometimes in some cases they walk it out and place it in there. we could see a robot place the package in there. normally that truck is what they use when they believe that they have something that is a real explosive, something that can explode. what they do is they place it in there. it's a secure chamber kind of so if it does explode, it explodes internally, does not harm anything outside of it. then they can drive it away to the randall's island, where the bomb squad is located and they can actually investigate and look at what's inside this package. it could be, wolf, that they're going to detonate this on site in that truck. we'll see what they decide to do here. also what we'll see is perhaps
some movement at some point from the bomb squad leaving the building. maybe we get some indications on whether or not they've now successfully gotten inside this package and have figured out what it is. certainly i think what everyone should know is the nypd has this under control. certainly they are concerned. they believe they're dealing with a real explosive. they're going to continue to investigate to try and figure out exactly what they're dealing with. >> once again, shimon, the suspicion is that these various suspicious packages potentially containing projectiles and other bomb-like devices, whether it addressed to the george soros home outside of new york city, the hillary and bill clinton home in chappaqua, new york, the michelle and barack obama home here in washington, d.c., as well as a suspicious package we earlier believed addressed to the white house intercepted at joint base bolling here in washington, as well as this suspicious package delivered to
the time warner center mail room where cnn is in new york. >> yes, they are treating as if they're related. there's some confusion, wolf, over the white house, whether or not a package was addressed to the white house. we're trying to clear that up. there you see now the truck that we were just talking about. it's called a bomb containment unit. i'm being corrected here by a law enforcement official. it's a bomb containment unit. they will place this suspicious package in this truck. then i'm told what they'll do is transport it, take it to actual rodman's neck in the bronx, which is where the bomb squad, the nypd bomb squad is located, is housed. that's where they'll continue to investigate this device. >> all right. stand by, shimon. poppy harlow, you're outside the time warner center. you were evacuated with jim sciutto and all of our
colleagues in the cnn new york city bureau. what new information are you getting now? >> wolf, i'm just on the phone with a contact at the nypd. a 911 call was made from inside the mail room at cnn that alerted the bomb squad, which immediately responded to 10 columbus circle. this is standard operating procedure, the way they would deal with it. he said they're determining if the bomb is inert or not and how they'll deal with it. jim asked him, would nypd or atf detonate it outside. our reporting earlier on the devices sent to the former president's home said they were detonated. he said they would not do that. >> we saw a short time ago a containment vessel arriving.
it's a secure container they can put it in and transport that dwie device safely. it might be worth it to show as much as we can. again, we're under understandable restrictions from new york police, keeping people at a safe distance. but a little vision of the scene here. you have a fire truck down there. this is one of several ambulances here out of an abundance of caution. this is concerning because it's the first time i've seen a stretcher taken out of one of the ambulances. i've been told by police to this point that there aren't any injuries. this could be precautionary. we'll get an update on that as soon as we can. this truck here is blocking the view down 58th street, but i can assure you behind there you got a good dozen emergency vehicles, including a bomb squad, several police. they have shut down a major new york street in the middle of the day for safety, in addition to evacuati evacuati evacuating poppy and i, dozens of our clears, and several floors of time warner center
here. this police response stretches entirely down the street, all the way towards columbus circle there, wolf. >> and my sources in the nypd are also saying of course there is heightened concern and caution given these buildings house media. they're taking every precaution. >> as far as you know, poppy and jim, the psuspicious package wa delivered to the mail room at the time warner center. the cnn new york bureau is in time warner center. do we know if it was specifically addressed to cnn? >> we do not. >> we don't know who it was addressed to. we know it made it inside the building. i believe it was a time warner employee who called 911. >> it was, yes. i'm asking the nypd that now, but we don't know at this point
who it was addressed to. >> and wolf, if you see here over poppy's right shoulder, these are members of the strategic response group of the nypd. these are the folks who come and respond immediately, within minutes, to calls like this. they train for it every day. they're the ones who came here. you see the firemen and the ambulances here. that's a measure, the abundance of caution they're treating this with. >> very serious. i want to go right near where you guys are. athena jones is outside the time warner center in new york city. she, like everyone else at the cnn new york bureau, was evacuated. what are you seeing now, athena? >> hi, wolf. the crowd is continuing to gather here. obviously other news crews have arrived. we were talking a few minutes ago during the arrival -- we saw a motorcade arriving of nypd officials. among that motorcade was john miller, who's the head of
counterterrorism and intelligence. he's now on the scene, joining at least a couple dozen nypd officials who are here to investigate this suspicious package found in the mail room of the time warner center. we don't yet know for sure who it was addressed to specifically. it was found in the mail room of the time warner center. it contains pipes and wires and is being treated as a real explosive. this is still, of course, a developing situation. we see the vehicles down there. we see the number of officials. we still don't have a whole lot of answers yet, wolf. >> i just want to be precise. so the new york bureau of cnn, that bureau has now been evacuated from the time warner center at columbus circle in new york city. i'm here in washington, d.c. our washington bureau has not received any suspicious packages or warnings. same at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. all of our bureaus are fine right now, with the exception of
the cnn new york city bureau, where you see this major evacuation unfolding right now. i just want to be precise in that. we're getting more specific information on the actual threat, the nature of this suspicious package. jim sciutto, poppy harlow, they were among all of the cnn employees who left the various floors where cnn is in that time warner center. jim sciutto, right now you're a couple blocks away. you can't get any closer. law enforcement, new york city police, and i'm sure fbi, atf, others are coming in to help out. they're keeping everyone at a distance, understandably so. >> absolutely. they've been moving us progressively back further. first they got us out of the building. then they had us 10 yards back, 20 yards back, until we were at the end of the street, blocking it off. i notice now they're at least letting people back, i don't know, a quarter block closer to the building. i don't know if that's
significant. they have taken the time to put up some metal barriers, at least on the block of 58th street there. so again, they're not letting down the alarm entirely, but we're forced back a little less far than we had been until a few minutes ago. >> we're told the mayor, mayor de blasio of new york, has been fully briefed on the latest developments. the white house has been briefed. law enforcement in new york is dealing with a major situation. let's not forget, suspicious packages were also intercepted, addressed to the obama residence here in washington, the clinton residence in chappaqua, new york, and earlier there was a suspicious package sent to george soros' residence outside of new york city as well. so there's a whole series of incidents, suspicious packages. there was also one addressed to the white house but intercepted here at joint base bolling here in washington, d.c.
all of these interceptions, with the exception of time warner, were at off-site locations. shimon, you're getting more information. what else are you learning? >> i'm being told by law enforcement in new york the bomb squad is continuing to work through this. you see the picture there on our screen. that's the bomb containment unit. that's the vehicle where they'll likely put this package and drive it off or detonate it. it's highly unlikely they'll detonate it with all these people standing around, obviously. they'll just drive it off to the bomb squad base. there's a lot out there right now, wolf. just to give people a recap, we're now dealing with at least four devices. the one in new york obviously we don't have definitive word that it's an explosive. police certainly believe it is similar to the other devices that they have intercepted and have been investigating this
morning. so that's the latest here. the nypd bomb squad is inside our offices at columbus circle. the package was addressed to 10 columbus circle. we don't know who specifically it was addressed to. it did arrive. it was received in the mail room of the building. the staff there alerted authorities, alerted building security to the device, and that's when the nypd responded. obviously they became really concerned almost immediately. >> shimon, just very briefly, what do we know about the package that was delivered to the time warner center? why was it suspicious? what raised the alarm bells? >> right, wolf. so what raised the alarm bell is when they x-rayed the package, they found what looked like metal material, perhaps a pipe bomb. we've talked about other pipe bombs or other bombs inside