Asma Hanif, founder of Muslim women’s shelter, finds herself in need of care

BALTIMORE —Another phone call had come from a desperate Muslim woman living in a distant state, searching for the lady draped in lavender known simply as Sister Asma.

As the founder of Muslimat Al-Nisaa, the only known shelter in the country that exclusively serves Muslim women, Hanif has devoted nearly a decade of her life to providing safety and stability for women in a place where they could comfortably practice their faith.

But she had focused so fully on giving comfort to strangers that she had neglected to care for her mother. Back in Hanif’s home town in North Carolina, the 83-year-old woman had slipped into dementia and was dying in a hospital. Hanif, who had no income and no home of her own, didn’t know how or where she would tend to her.

Sentencing set for man after guilty plea in bomb plot

BALTIMORE — A Maryland man who said he wanted to wage jihad against the United States faces sentencing for plotting to bomb a military recruiting center.

Prosecutors are recommending a 25-year prison term for Antonio Martinez, who is to be sentenced Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Martinez pleaded guilty in January. Prosecutors say he armed a fake bomb in a vehicle he parked in front of a Catonsville recruiting center in December 2010. They say he then went to a vantage point and used what he thought was a detonator when an undercover agent told him soldiers were in the building.

The 22-year-old acknowledged in the plea agreement that he was motivated by what he felt was a war by the United States against Islam.