Package addressed to Atlanta CNN Center similar to others mailed last week, FBI says

Authorities intercepted a suspicious package at a downtown Atlanta post office Monday that was addressed to CNN and looked similar to others mailed last week to prominent Democrats as well as the Time Warner Center in New York, the FBI said.

The parcel was discovered hours before a Florida man accused of sending last week’s packages appeared in court for an initial hearing on five federal charges.

By Monday afternoon, FBI Atlanta spokesman Kevin Rowson said that “the device has been rendered safe,” and that all evidence will be sent to the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Va.

The post office on Pryor Street was evacuated and police blocked streets around the building as an FBI bomb squad used a robot to investigate the latest package. The Atlanta Police Department said crews went to the scene shortly after 9:30 a.m. when the post office reported the suspicious item.

During the probe, police urged people to avoid the area, which is southwest of the interchange between I-20 and the Downtown Connector and more than a mile away from the CNN Center.

The scene was cleared and streets reopened just before 1 p.m.

The more than a dozen packages discovered last week were mailed in manila envelopes, with six “Forever” stamps and pipe bombs inside. The FBI did not say where the package found in Atlanta was taken or if it contained explosive materials.

There was “no imminent danger to the CNN Center,” network president Jeff Zucker said in a statement to employees.

It was the third suspicious package sent to CNN in a week; the first two were addressed to CNN’s New York office inside the Time Warner Center. The first was found on Wednesday and was addressed to ex-CIA director John Brennan, and another on Friday was addressed to former national intelligence director James Clapper.

Cesar Sayoc was arrested in Florida the same day after investigators said they linked him to the packages through fingerprint and DNA evidence.

The threats prompted the network to increase security at its New York and Atlanta offices.

All mail to CNN is being screened at off-site facilities, Zucker said.

“Our screening process is working,” he said Monday.

Other intended recipients of the packages included former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, actor Robert De Niro, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker and others who have been critical of President Donald Trump.

Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Fla., has a criminal history and was an outspoken supporter of Trump on social media and at events. He is expected to be prosecuted in New York.

When he was arrested, officials warned that Sayoc may have sent additional packages before he was apprehended.