Not so long ago, the young man accused of plotting to blow up a military recruiting station in Maryland had a mundane job selling children’s clothes at a mall.
When he was hired as a sales associate about a year ago, Antonio Martinez was polite, hardworking and a newly baptized Christian, a former co-worker said. He seemed like a typical young adult working a typical retail job.
Then one day he surprised co-workers by declaring that he had converted to Islam.
“Within a few weeks, he has a floor mat down in the back room praying to Mecca, telling us he’s going to a mosque and converting to Islam,” the former colleague said. She insisted on anonymity because she was not authorized by her employer to speak publicly about the matter and because she feared for her family’s safety.