In a shocking turn of events, a former GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) employee, Joshua Bowles, aged 29, has admitted to attempting to murder a United States spy at a leisure center.
Bowles entered a guilty plea at the Old Bailey, acknowledging that on March 9, he assaulted the woman stationed at GCHQ at the time, using both punches and knives, just three miles from the intelligence agency’s Cheltenham base.
The motive behind Bowles’s violent act was revealed by Gloucestershire Police, who stated that he targeted the victim because of her association with GCHQ.
The victim, identified only by code 99230 in court documents, was an employee of the U.S. government, working in collaboration with GCHQ.
During the court proceedings, prosecutors revealed that Bowles had once been an employee at GCHQ himself and had conducted research on the victim and other American nationals working at the facility. However, he was no longer employed there during the attack.
The prosecution argued that this was a deliberate act of violence and suggested that the case should be treated as a terrorism-related offense.
Kathryn Selby, the prosecutor, explained that Bowles selected his victim because he believed she was associated with GCHQ and represented the state, thus making her a target.
Bowles faced charges of attempted murder and assaulting another individual, Alex Fuentes, causing him actual bodily harm.
The attack occurred around 9:15 p.m. in a leisure center car park as the victim left with a friend after a netball game.
Bowles attempted to stab her, prompting her to flee back into the building. He pursued them, attacking the victim inside the facility once more before she escaped onto a netball court. She sustained multiple stab injuries and was subsequently hospitalized.
Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), described the attack as violent and unprovoked. He also stated that Bowles’s guilty plea would spare the victims from the ordeal of a trial.
The court announced that sentencing is expected to occur before the end of October, and GCHQ refrained from commenting on the ongoing legal proceedings.