Suspicious package found at Robert De Niro's New York restaurant

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·6-min read
<em>A police officer blocks off an area responding to reports of a suspicious package in the Tribeca neighbourhood (AP)</em>
A police officer blocks off an area responding to reports of a suspicious package in the Tribeca neighbourhood (AP)

New York police have recovered a suspicious package addressed to actor Robert De Niro which may contain a device similar to others sent to leading Democrats.

The Hollywood star and outspoken Donald Trump critic was the latest high-profile figure to have had a device intercepted.

Police today seized a suspicious package sent to former US vice president Joe Biden, and confirmed it was similar to those sent to the homes of the Obamas and Clintons.

The NYPD said they are investigating a package sent to De Niro’s restaurant in New York’s Tribeca neighbourhood. The package was reportedly addressed to De Niro personally.

Just minutes later on Wednesday, it emerged police had intercepted a suspicious package in Delaware addressed to Democrat Mr Biden.

<em>Police rushed to a post office in Delaware on Wednesday to intercept the package addressed to Joe Biden (WPVI)</em>
Police rushed to a post office in Delaware on Wednesday to intercept the package addressed to Joe Biden (WPVI)

A bomb squad unit drove through New York after leaving the Tribeca neighbourhood where the package addressed to De Niro was found at the Tribeca Grill.

NBC news reported that the package was sent to restaurant, and was similar to the explosive devices sent to the homes of the Obamas and Clintons yesterday.

The glass-filled pipe bombs also targeted other prominent Democrats and CNN but were thwarted without injury.

Sources have reportedly told Fox5NY that the package found in Tribeca was similar to the ones discovered yesterday, although this has not been officially confirmed.

President Trump, meanwhile, condemned the threat of political violence, before going on to blame the ‘anger’ of today’s society on the ‘inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media’.

Without referring specifically to the rash of explosive devices, Trump said: ‘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.’

MORE: Professional huntress who posed with dead wild goat quits social media after receiving death threats
MORE: Theresa May swerves leadership revolt after addressing crucial meeting of backbenchers

The President said that what he calls ‘fake news’ has got worse and the mainstream media must ‘clean up its act, FAST’.

De Niro has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and received a standing ovation at the Tony Awards when he said: ‘I’m going to say one thing – f*** Trump!’

The Hollywood star has also said he would like to punch the President in the face.

Responding to De Niro’s attacks, Trump tweeted: ‘Robert De Niro, a very Low IQ individual, has received too many shots to the head by real boxers in movies.

‘I watched him last night and truly believe he may be ‘punch-drunk’.’

The first crude bomb to be discovered had been delivered on Monday to the New York compound of George Soros, a liberal billionaire and major contributor to Democratic causes.

The FBI said an additional package was intended for former Attorney General Eric Holder, but that one ended up at a Florida office of Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose return address was on it.

Later on Wednesday, the FBI said two additional packages addressed for Democrat Representative Maxine Waters had been intercepted that were similar in appearance to five others.

<em>Former Vice President Joe Biden gestures during a campaign rally for Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and US Senator Bill Nelson (AP)</em>
Former Vice President Joe Biden gestures during a campaign rally for Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and US Senator Bill Nelson (AP)
<em>Packages were sent to the homes of Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton on Wednesday (Getty)</em>
Packages were sent to the homes of Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton on Wednesday (Getty)

The targets of the bombs were some of the figures most frequently criticised by Trump.

He accused Mr Soros of paying protesters and singles out cable news network CNN as he rails against the ‘fake news’ media.

Trump attacked the ‘hostile media’ just hours after the discovery of the bombs, and called for more civility in public life, saying: ‘Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective.

‘No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historic villains, which is done often.’

The White House condemned the attacks aimed at Democrats and others critical of the Trump administration.

<em>De Niro has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump (PA)</em>
De Niro has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump (PA)
<em>The package was sent to the Tribeca Grill in New York (Google)</em>
The package was sent to the Tribeca Grill in New York (Google)

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement: ‘These terrorising acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.’

Law enforcement officials said all the packages were similar: manila envelopes with bubble-wrap interior bearing six stamps and the return address of Florida Representative Schultz.

She is the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee who was accused by Clinton rivals of secretly helping the party’s eventual presidential nominee.

The pipe bombs were packed with powder and shards of glass. The devices, each with a small battery, were made from PVC pipe about six inches long and covered with black tape, said a law enforcement official who viewed X-ray images.

The devices all were sent to an FBI lab in Virginia to be studied. Officials provided no details on a possible suspect or motive.