, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 29, 2013

Marathon bombers bit the hands that fed them

Gov. Deval Patrick asserts that Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have a right to privacy that prohibits the release of their welfare records.

It’s good to know where the governor stands. But the public has a compelling interest in learning whether their tax dollars funded the Cambridge brothers’ descent into terrorism.

Police say the Tsarnaev brothers planted two homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed three people — including an 8-year-old boy — and injured more than 200.

After the FBI released their photos, the brothers killed an MIT police officer and led police on a chase into Watertown, tossing more bombs at their pursuers. An early morning gun battle with police resulted in the death of Tamerlan and left Dzhokhar on the run. He was later captured hiding in a boat in a resident’s back yard.

That this rampage may have been financed, at least in part, by public assistance benefits is appalling, as is officials’ refusal to provide the public with any details on the matter.

We know this much: The Boston Herald has reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife, Katherine, and their 3-year-old daughter received benefits that ended in 2012 when they no longer met eligibility requirements. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar’s parents also received state assistance when the brothers were growing up, the newspaper reported.

While the state has declined to provide the public with details of the benefits the Tsarnaevs received, the Boston Globe obtained a copy of a memo from the Department of Transitional Assistance to the House Post Audit and Oversight Committee that says the Tsarnaev parents, Anzor and Zubeidat, received food stamps from October 2002 to November 2004 and again from August 2009 to December 2011.

Anzor also received Aid to Families with Dependent Children funds from January to March 2003 and again from August 2009 to June 2010.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Special Features