Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living off the Massachusetts welfare system in the lead-up to his involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings, a newspaper investigation found.
Massachusetts officials confirmed to the Boston Herald that Tsarnaev, his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter were receiving benefits.
Officials with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services in the state said the benefits ended in 2012, after Tsarnaev's wife began working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide, the Herald reported.
Both of Tsarnaev's parents received taxpayer-funded benefits, too, the Herald reported. And both Tamerlan and younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received benefits through their parents when they were younger, state authorities told the Herald.
The bigger question: Did taxpayer dollars fund the Tsarnaev family's radicalization?
Family members said Tamerlan Tsarnaev began to explore extremist Islam in the 2008-09 time frame, the Herald reported. And it was in 2009 that he was quoted in an essay as saying, "I don't have a single American friend. I don't understand them" and Americans have no "values," the Herald reported.
The state did confirm that the Tsarnaevs were not receiving benefits on April 15, at the time of the Boston bombings. But authorities would not tell exactly when the family began to receive the assistance, the Herald reported.
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