Hundreds filed out of the Time Warner Center near Columbus Circle as the bomb squad rushed to the scene Wednesday morning. CNN anchors Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto were forced to abandon their live broadcast and evacuate. They later continued reporting from the streets via their cellphones.
The package, which included a pipe bomb as well as some white powder, was removed from the Time Warner Center following the evacuation. It was ensconced in a special containment truck that was then carefully driven north to another NYPD facility in the Bronx. There, the bomb will be safely detonated and studied for clues as to who may have sent it.
"It's good to find these devices intact because you get to see the signature of the bombmaker," counter-terrorism expert Mike O'Neill told Inside Edition.
Addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, care of CNN, the device was one of several similar ones mailed to various high-profile figures, including Hillary Clinton and former President Obama.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the middle of a press conference when he was told that a suspicious package had been mailed to his own office as well.
A statement from the White House called the bombs the work of cowards.
"These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," the statement read. "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."