Tamerlan Tsarnaev was receiving Massachusetts welfare benefits in the lead up to the deadly attacks at the Boston Marathon.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, lived off state aid while his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, worked as a home healthcare worker, sometimes clocking as many as 80 hours a week while her unemployed husband stayed at home, Massachusetts welfare officials revealed on Wednesday.
Ultimately Katherine Russell’s income made the couple ineligible for welfare and they stopped receiving state money in 2012.
Sources who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev said that though he sported a flashy appearance, he failed to earn very much money for his family and was essentially a stay-at-home dad.
His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,on the other hand, has been described as more entrepreneurial.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was a sophomore at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, attended the school on a scholarship and earned petty cash selling marijuana, sources told the Boston Globe.
Investigators are scrutinizing the Tsarnaev brothers’ source of income, as they probe whether the pair received outside assistance for their attack, either from a radical group or foreign government.
Security experts have noted though that the modus operandi was relatively cheap, estimating that the materials for each of the pressure cooker bombs used at the Boston Marathon attack could have cost a total of $100 each.
It is not known when Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Katherine Russell, the mother of the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, began receiving the aid.
They “were not receiving transitional assistance benefits at the time of the [Boston Marathon blasts]”, Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services spokesman Alec Loftus told the Boston Herald.
Both suspects believed to be behind the bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokhar, had also received welfare as children.
Their parents, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, relied on state assistance when they moved to America from the Russian republic of Dagestan.
State officials have been reluctant to discuss whether the Tsarnaevs had received state money when they immigrated to the U.S. in the early 2000s.
Ultimately, after pressure from the press the state welfare benefits office divulged the information to the Boston Herald.