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CNN, others in New York evacuated after phoned-in bomb threat

Police at the Time Warner Centre building
Police at the Time Warner Centre building -
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A building in New York City that includes CNN was evacuated because of a phoned-in bomb threat Thursday night that turned out to be unsubstantiated, according to police and a reporter at the network.

The New York Police Department tweeted that they were responding to Columbus Circle, where CNN is located, and urged people to avoid the area.

A police official said that an unsubstantiated phone threat was made to the Time Warner Building claiming there were five bombs present, and building security ordered an evacuation as a precaution.

A preliminary search by security found nothing, and the NYPD was conducting a search as a precaution, the police official said. Police said a 911 call came in at 10:07 p.m.

Brian Stelter, a reporter for the network, said on Twitter that the offices were evacuated and that CNN went into taped programming. CNN host Don Lemon tweeted, "We were evacuated in the middle of my live show" due to a bomb threat.

CNN went to live programming from another location and Lemon said in a phone interview with the network that not only did the threat disrupt his program but "it's also disrupted the entire neighborhood."*

In October, CNN was targeted in a wave of pipe bombs mailed to the network as well as to prominent critics of President Donald Trump. None of the devices exploded and there were no injuries.

The suspect, Cesar Sayoc, of Florida, was arrested and indicted on more than 30 federal counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, and he faces up to life in prison if convicted.

"It's kind of a repeat situation of what we went through in October," Lemon said on CNN.

On Thursday night shortly after 10 p.m. Trump tweeted "FAKE NEWS - THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!" Trump frequently uses the term to denigrate some media organizations, including CNN. It appears that tweet was made at around 10:08 p.m., which would make it after police said they received the 911 call.