Joshua Bowles, 29, stabbed the unnamed woman, who was working at British intelligence agency GCHQ at the time, multiple times during the attack in March near GCHQ’s base at Cheltenham, in western England.
Bowles had previously worked at GCHQ but was no longer working there when the attack occurred, Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) said in a statement, adding that the woman’s work there was cited by Bowles as a motive.
“This was a violent and unprovoked attack on two innocent victims,” Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright, head of CTPSE, said in a statement.
“Through our extensive and thorough investigation, it is clear that Bowles had selected his victim because of where she worked.”
Prosecutor Emma Gargitter told London’s Old Bailey on Wednesday that Bowles also researched two other U.S. government employees and should be sentenced as someone convicted of a terrorist offence, the BBC reported.
Bowles pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and one of assaulting a man who tried to stop the attack. He will be sentenced at a later date.
(Reporting by Sam Tobin; Editing by David Holmes)