Netflix’s ‘Business of Drugs’ sees an ex CIA analyst investigating the economics of illicit substances, to try and understand the real impact and origin of the business of drugs. Amaryllis Fox is a wonder woman who served undercover in the CIA, and reportedly even took her baby to some of the meetings. Her espionage career ended in 2010, and she’s written an explosive book titled “Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA,” which details her time in the CIA when she went on top-secret missions. From international spy to loving mother, Fox juggles many balls. Here’s everything you need to know about her.
Amaryllis Fox: A Most Spectacular Life
Fox was born in New York, and her father worked as an economist when she was a child. As a result, their family often moved overseas. It helped Fox gain a self of worldliness that not many people develop, and formed the building blocks of her eventual life as a global nomad. Amaryllis attended Oxford University in England and then enrolled in a master’s program in Georgetown. She studied international security at the university level.
Part of Fox’s project was to dig up decades-old data on every known international and domestic terrorist attacks, trying to find unnoticed patterns. Eventually, she formulated an algorithm identifying likely terrorist safe havens. Dan Byman, the terrorism expert, and her thesis advisor noted that he did not recall Fox’s algorithm but remembered her to be a capable student. Notably, Fox provided NBC News with a copy of her thesis.
Either way, the thesis caught the eye of the CIA. She joined as an analyst at the age of 21. Later, she became a field agent. As for Fox’s personal life, she was first married to a British subject because it was a choice between marriage and breakup. Their union was later annulled. Fox went on to marry Dean, a CIA case officer who served in Afghanistan. However, the second marriage didn’t survive either because they ended up disagreeing about the CIA’s tactics of using lethal force against terrorists too quickly.
As per the latest reports, Fox resides in Los Angeles with Robert F. Kennedy III, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy. She works as a media analyst and provides commentary on world affairs for BBC and CNN. You can see a happy picture of Fox and her family. She’s a mother to two kids.
Amaryllis Fox: Undercover CIA Missions
Fox’s stint with the CIA reads like a spy novel, but her memoir is a valuable source of information about her time with the agency. She served roughly from 2002 to 2010 and was helped into the agency by Dallas Jones, the agency analyst in Georgetown, at the time. She spent some time as an analyst at the CIA headquarters, before being recruited into the National Clandestine Service, the agency’s operational arm which spies overseas.
She was sent to the agency training base in Virginia, where she learned to spot surveillance, build rapport with potential sources, and fire an M4 rifle. Fox was assigned to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, focusing on terrorist’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction — CTC/WMD. She chose her non-official cover (spies posted as civilians in foreign countries, with higher risk if detected).
Eventually, Fox went to Shanghai, not to spy, but to bolster her fake identity, and sever ties with Washington. Fox chose to be in the art world since her family had links to it. Among her missions, she recruited a Hungarian named Jakab, who sold nuclear precursors to terrorist groups. He helped her discover the plan to detonate a radiation bomb in Karachi.
Her job also took her to a meeting in Karachi with armed extremists affiliated with al Qaeda and the Taliban. She says she helped convince them to stop their compatriots from detonating the bomb. While Fox’s memoir recounts her time in Karachi, her missions also took her to North Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Ultimately, Fox gave up her life with the agency because of the physical and emotional costs of a career in espionage.
Here’s her most recent post, promoting the Netflix series, where Fox shares her nuggets of wisdom with the viewers.
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