Man admits stabbing US intelligence agent working at Britain’s cyberespionage agency


LONDON (AP) — A former U.K. intelligence worker accused of stabbing an American woman stationed at Britain’s cyberespionage agency pleaded guilty on Wednesday to attempted murder.

Joshua Bowles, 29, admitted attacking the victim on March 9 in the western England town of Cheltenham, home to the electronic spy agency GCHQ.

He allegedly punched and stabbed the woman as she left a leisure center about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from GCHQ headquarters after playing netball. The victim was treated in a hospital for multiple stab wounds.

Bowles also pleaded guilty to assaulting a man who tried to intervene.

Prosecutors said Bowles worked at GCHQ until late 2022 and in early 2023 began researching the victim online. They said the victim, who was identified in court only by the number 99230, was a United States government employee stationed at GCHQ. British media reported that she works for the National Security Agency.

“The defendant has selected the victim because he believed she is a worker for GCHQ and holds views on the work he believes they conduct,” prosecutor Kathryn Selby said at an earlier hearing. “He attacked the victim because, in his mind, she represents the state.”

Bowles, who lives in Cheltenham, entered guilty pleas during a hearing at London’s Central Criminal Court. Judge Bobbie Cheema-Grubb said she hoped to sentence him before the end of October.

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