Army bomb teams were sent to the scene in Duncairn Gardens in the north of the city following reports that a suspicious object had been thrown at a parked vehicle.
The area was closed to traffic between Edlingham Street and North Queen Street and a number homes in the area were evacuated.
A 27-year-old man was arrested.
Police said: "A viable pipe bomb type device was examined by Army Technical Officers and has now been removed for further examination.
"It's understood the device was thrown at a parked car at around 11am this morning but did not detonate."
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.
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