The mysterious attack in Cheltenham, UK involved an American woman working for GCHQ, the Daily Mail reports
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the 24 hour Operations Room inside GCHQ in Cheltenham, England, November 17, 2015 © Ben Birchall / WPA Pool / Getty Images
The woman injured in last week’s knife attack in Gloucestershire was an American intelligence operative seconded to British surveillance, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday. Last Thursday’s incident, initially described as attempted murder but then upgraded to terrorism, has led to rampant speculation in the UK as neither the victim nor the attacker were publicly named.
The attack happened in the parking lot outside a leisure center – a facility with a gym, swimming pools, cafe and other amenities, used by members and the public alike – around 9 pm local time. The facility is in Cheltenham, less than five kilometers away from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The GCHQ has declined requests for comment.
Within hours, police had arrested a 29-year-old man and charged him with attempted murder. On Friday, he was re-arrested under the Terrorism Act, and the investigation was handed over to Counter Terrorism Policing South East “due to some specific details of this incident,” according to the state broadcaster BBC.
According to local residents interviewed by the Daily Mail, the woman and her attacker were inside the car, arguing, before the stabbing.