American spy on secondment to GCHQ was stabbed by alleged terrorist just three miles from its Cheltenham headquarters

I have been watching this for a couple of days. The Daily Mail and the local news Gloucestershire Live have this tonight. 

An American spy on secondment to GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) was stabbed by an alleged terrorist just three miles from its headquarters, it can now be revealed. Police believe a woman working for US intelligence was targeted by a knifeman in an alleged terrorist attack outside a leisure centre in Cheltenham.

The victim is said to have been sitting in a car when the knifeman lashed out stabbing her in the leisure centre car park, before she managed to stagger out of the vehicle for help. Seriously wounded, she managed to raise staff at the sports centre which was due shortly to close to the public at the time of the attack on Thursday at 9.15pm.

Yesterday the victim remained in a stable condition in hospital following surgery

 Gloucestershire Constabulary initially treated the alleged stabbing as attempted murder, but the suspect was re-arrested on suspicion of preparing and instigating a terrorist act 24 hours later. Officers have been searching an address in Cheltenham connected with the alleged offender, who is a man aged 29 and from Cheltenham, in recent days. He is currently being held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism contrary to Section 41 of the Terrorism Act (2000), as well as on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act (2006).

The identity of the woman has not been revealed, but the Mail has learnt that she is an American spy on secondment to the Government Communications Headquarters, which is based just three miles away. The nature of her work has not been revealed, but GCHQ has a strong relationship with its US equivalent, the National Security Agency.

Sources said the attack was being taken seriously by GCHQ, whose staff work to identify and disrupt terror plots across the UK.

Yesterday local residents suggested the victim may have known the suspect and claimed the pair were seen arguing in the car beforehand. . . one neighbour said. ‘There were two ambulances and then the police arrested the bloke in the car. We heard he was Asian.’  Asian in the UK means from the Indian subcontinent, not East Asia such as China or Japan. 

This always sounded like it wasn’t an IRA or ‘white supremacist’ attack. While Breitbart connected it to the Cheltenham Festival (of horseracing) which is taking place at the moment a GCHQ connection seemed more likely, although I did wonder if (assuming it is an Islamic act of terror) the man was inflamed at the sight of a young woman alone, wearing PT kit not hijab.  And was later found to have more planning material about his person and premises as questioning began. That seems less likely tonight. I’m now wondering if he was a Civil Servant sleeper. I am very dubious about the soundness of some of the recruits to the service these last 20 years although GCHQ relies heavily on linguists.  However I am speculating, and facts are what I should be waiting for. 

GCHQ has declined to comment.

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