The Patrick administration clamped down the lid yesterday on Herald requests for details of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s government benefits, citing the dead terror mastermind’s right to privacy
Across the board, state agencies flatly refused to provide information about the taxpayer-funded lifestyle for the 26-year-old man and his brother and accused accomplice Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.
On EBT card status or spending, state welfare spokesman Alec Loftus would only say Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and 3-year-old daughter received benefits that ended in 2012. He declined further comment.
On unemployment compensation, labor department spokesman Kevin Franck refused to say whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev ever collected, saying it was “confidential and not a matter of public record.”
The Herald reported yesterday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and 3-year-old daughter collected welfare until 2012 and that both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar received benefits through their parents “for a limited portion” of the time after they came to the U.S., which was around 2002.
It remains unclear how the accused bomber brothers financed their heartless attacks on the marathon.
“It’s certainly relevant information that should be made public
,” U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch told the Herald. “There’s a national security interest No. 1. Secondly, there’s also a public interest in finding out whether these individuals were able to exploit the system and get benefits they weren’t entitled to.”