Boston Marathon bomber received welfare

The dead suspect reportedly collected public assistance in 2012. Did taxpayers fund part of his radicalization?

By Jonathan Berr Apr 24, 2013 4:47PM

Tamerlan Tsarnaev. copyright The Lowell Sun & Robin Young/APTamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspected mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombings who was killed in a shootout with police, received welfare benefits from the state of Massachusetts -- as did his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter, according to the Boston Herald.


The news is sure to anger many Americans who are already upset about the tragedy that left three dead and injured 260.

Exactly how long Tsarnaev and his family received public assistance wasn't clear. A spokesman for the state's Executive Office of Health and Human Services told the paper that the payments ended in 2012 when the family no longer met eligibility requirements. 


Both of Tsarnaev's parents also received assistance when they resided in the U.S., as did Tamerlan and his brother Dzokhar -- his accused partner in crime who is currently hospitalized -- when they were younger.
"Russell Tsarnaev's attorney has claimed Katherine -- who had converted to Islam -- was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home," according to the paper. "The news raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money."

As in many states, welfare is a touchy enough issue in Massachusetts, even without a suspected terrorist in the equation. Last year, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) angered legislators when he said he wouldn't enforce key parts of a welfare reform bill passed by the Legislature that banned recipients from using their assistance money on frills such as liquor, cigarettes and tattoos, saying it was unenforceable.

In a statement issued earlier this year, Patrick vowed that his administration "will continue to do everything it can to stamp out welfare fraud and abuse." With Wednesday's news about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the state Legislature is bound to press the governor to back up his words with deeds.

Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter at @jdberr.


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Apr 24, 2013 5:18PM
He got welfare, his parents got welfare, his brother got welfare, blah, blah, blah.  It seems the whole world is on the government cheese.
Apr 24, 2013 6:19PM
So the massive gov bureaucracy failed to take simple steps to prevent this attack.  And the very same massive gov bureaucracy gave these loons welfare and food stamps.  And the very same massive gov bureaucracy actively advertises to get people signed up for food stamps, free school lunches and Obama--phones, to the point that they sent a free Obama-phone offer to a sitting US Senator (McCaskill D-MO).

And yet more than half of you idiots still think more gov is the answer.

Apr 24, 2013 5:14PM
Hell, who isn't on welfare?  I thought every one was on that except for me.
Apr 24, 2013 5:19PM
Can we finally cut out this welfare crap?
Apr 25, 2013 12:50AM
OMG! And this is how they pay back the country that took them in, fed them, sheltered them & gave them respite from their war torn area?  Their sons had every opportunity, education included. How ghastly, how unbelievably ungrateful, how disgusting are these immigrants who run here to use my taxes to live and then kill us, maim us & spit in our faces. My parents were immigrants & they were nothing but grateful to be able to come here. They had 5 kids, all college graduates. My father worked in a chemical plant & my mother cleaned houses.  These guys are selfish, self involved loser animals!!!!
Apr 24, 2013 5:17PM
Hey that dude's wife that works eighty hours a week is a widow now.  Somebody will snatch her up fast.  What a sugar mama.  She worked two jobs all week while he was on welfare playing video games and planning how he was going to blow the world up.
Apr 24, 2013 6:56PM
We are so naive.  All we do is handout money to undeserving people over and over.  BUT.... we must be politically correct and not act like we give a crap.  This isn't 200 years ago when all immigrants had to work in some fashion or starve.  I'm all for immigration....if you can show you accept "our" culture..... and want "our" culture..... and have some means of contributing to our society & not be an immediate parasite
Apr 25, 2013 7:37AM
Apr 24, 2013 6:10PM
The government is the worst organization to hand out welfare. 
Private People need to help out there friends and relatives when things go wrong. 

Close people to those who need assistance are far better informed of the conditions and more likely to provide the correct amount and duration of assistance.

Governments can't do the job
Apr 24, 2013 7:12PM
"We are so naive. All we do is handout money to undeserving people over and over."
The very persons this statement should refer to are the politicans we continue to re-elect each year..they are the ones who have handed over millions  to who ever....the sad thing is..many who really deserve help can not get it. Everyone please consider that folks coming here from other country's can buy a busines with government help and pay little to no taxes..then..hand down to their children or others in their family the same business and coninue to receive those same benefits while the voters and citizens who have lived here all their lives get mostly nothing. I have to wonder just how these people got welfare to begin with.?
Apr 24, 2013 8:56PM
How did these foreigners get on welfare?
Apr 24, 2013 6:02PM

What the hell does this have to do with anything?  By humanizing these monsters, the media is pretty much saying to every angry loser out there he can do it too.


It would be nice to see a "final" article saying,  2 pieces of human garbage bombed our people.  We don't know why they did it and we don't care.  The first one died last week and second one just took a bullet to the head.  Case closed.

Apr 24, 2013 10:53PM
Welfare at 745 Billion Federal and 278 Billion in State tax dollars - per year - is too F^&*king much!  The military is only 660 Billion.  Cut food stamps and free healthcare NOW!  Stop welfare Fraud NOW!
Apr 24, 2013 7:21PM
Ungrateful camel jockey.  Lock down the borders and export them all, with Obama in the lead!
Apr 24, 2013 6:26PM

VP Biden said it...".These two are twisted, perverted and cowardly knockoff jihadists"---some newspaper cartoonists have already portrayed them as cockroaches that must be exterminated.  Food stamp fraud is over $750 million a year--it's doubled since 2006-'08.  A USDA study.

Apr 25, 2013 12:16PM
The dirtbag's mom is claiming her scumbag offspring are innocent. I bet some morons believe her.
Apr 25, 2013 9:53AM
Should our government be indicted for aiding and abetting a terrorist. It is just great to think that our tax dollars bought the pressure cookers that killed and maimed mericans?
Apr 25, 2013 10:30AM
It is a bit amazing how most Americans do not know how political refugee's and other immigrants get benefits. Ask your Congress they make the laws. Many American's also are not aware of the federal laws around employer requirements and migrant worker requirements ALREADY on the federal law books. 

Figures Obama would have all the terrorists on government payroll. Seems like you have to be an illegal alien and a terrorist to boot in order to qualify for welfare nowadays.


How many more terrorists is Obama making payments to.


By law this makes Obama a terrorist for supporting a terrorist.


Does this mean the drones will soon have another enemy combatant target??

Apr 25, 2013 2:40PM

And I, an American citizen my whole life can't get help from anywhere.


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