Homes were evacuated in a Newtownabbey housing estate yesterday after police discovered a suspicious object.
Army bomb disposal officers were called to the incident at Mayfield Village in Mallusk, and an object was taken away for closer examination.
PSNI Inspector Peter Duncan said: "Police attended the scene and a number of homes had to be evacuated.
"Cordons were put in place and ATO (Ammunition Technical Officers) were tasked to the scene. An object was located and has been taken away for further examination."
Councillors hit out at those behind the incident.
Sinn Fein's Anne Marie Logue said: "There was absolute mayhem and upheaval in the area. Upwards of 20 homes had to be evacuated.
"There was a lot of concern among residents, who had nowhere to go while they were out of their homes."
She said the Mayfield area was generally a quiet, settled place with lots of young families.
"Whoever is responsible for this incident - and we are not yet certain whether it was a cruel hoax or a real pipe bomb - they have caused a lot of concern. These people are not welcome in the area," she added.
The SDLP's Noreen McClelland said: "The discovery of a suspicious object in Mayfield Village caused significant disruption for local people and families.
"The last thing anyone here needs is to be forced from their home in the middle of the day."