On Tuesday, Massachusetts Health and Human Services spokesperson Alec Loftus confirmed to the Boston Herald that deceased Boston bombing ‘Suspect 1’ Tamerlan Tsarnaev received welfare benefits from the state until 2012:
State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits.
Loftus also told the Herald that Anzor Tsarnaev and his wife Zubeidat received welfare benefits for themselves and both of their sons, Tamerlan, age 26, and ‘Suspect 2’ Dzhokhar, age 19, when they were children. Typically, welfare benefits for dependent children stop at age 18, so Tamerlan received welfare benefits through his parents as long ago as 2005.
The Tsarnaev family, of Chechnyan origin, first came to the United States around 2002 from Dagestan, a republic of Russia where many Chechnyans have settled.
The Herald also reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s six-month trip to Dagestan in the first half of 2012 may also have taken place while he was receiving welfare benefits.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s journey to Islamic radicalization, it appears, was financed in part by taxpayers.
According to the Herald, “[t]he Tsarnaevs were not receiving benefits when they allegedly bombed the marathon, killing three and injuring 260.”
The Boston Herald originally reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev took a one month trip to Dagestan in 2011 but have corrected and updated that report in their most recent version of the story. Now, they are reporting that “Tsarnaev did not take a one-month trip to Daghestan in mid-2011.” This post has been edited to reflect that change.