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Family Of Alleged Bombers Given Aid From State

welfare bombersSPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — New information continues to emerge in what funding the alleged Boston bombers may have been given by the state. The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance says the Tsarnaev brothers weren’t directly given assistance. Instead, their family members legally acquired it. For example, the Tsarnaev’s parents benefited from cash assistance and food stamps off and on between 2002 and 2011. Older brother Tamerlan’s wife received aid up until November of last year.

“And he was using that money to go buy materials build bombs so that he could blow up American children. I find that disgusting,” Buffy Penny said.

Penny isn’t alone. Many feel the brothers’ family connections are too close for comfort, including State Senator Jim Welch.

“People who receive public benefits, they are certainly not the first ones to commit crimes but this crime was such a horrific one that I think it brings it to a completely different level,” Welch said.

While Welch says the situation does anger him, he says it’s too early to know what can be done moving forward to prevent a similar situation from happening again. Those on welfare are protected by serious privacy policies so it’s difficult to circulate information, even between government agencies.

“I just don’t know if constitutionally we would be allowed to or legally be able to share or peruse that information as kind of like a watch list type of situation,” Welch said.

“I think we need to re-evaluate how it is that we take care of the people in this country who should actually be taken care of,” Penny said.

Welch says better communication between state and federal authorities should be the first issue taken care of, something he knows his constituents agree with. The Department of Transitional Assistance says everyone associated with the Tsarnaev’s brothers who received state aid, was eligible for it. The agency says they are cooperating in the investigation. The State Senate has not reconvened since the bombings.

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