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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Ex-British intelligence officer jailed for 13 years for attack on NSA agent


A former British intelligence officer was jailed for 13 years after attempting to kill a United States National Security Agency (NSA) employee in a “premeditated, targeted and vicious attack”.

Joshua Bowles, 29, repeatedly stabbed the unnamed woman, who was working at British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), in March near its base at Cheltenham, England.


Bowles, who had previously worked at GCHQ, was no longer working there when he carried out the attack.

Following his arrest, Bowles told the police, “The target was selected for employment at the NSA.”

“Due to the size and resourcing, American intelligence represents the largest contributor within the intelligence community, so made sense as the symbolic target. I consider GCHQ just as guilty.”

Judge Bobbie Cheema-Grubb said on Monday that Bowles had carried out a “politically motivated attack” that was driven by “anger and resentment” towards GCHQ and women.

She recommended he serve at least 13 years in prison before being considered for release.

In August, Bowles pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of the woman known only as 99230. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting a man who tried to stop the attack.


The woman sustained cuts to her abdomen, chest and thigh.

He had researched the attack online beforehand, including studying the American “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, who mounted an anonymous bombing campaign from 1978 to 1995.

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