Boston Marathon Bombing Mastermind, Family on Welfare

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Boston Marathon bombing mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his entire extended family were on welfare, according to a report in The Boston Herald.

Tamerlan, 26, along with his wife, and 3-year-old daughter received welfare benefits until last year, when they were no longer eligible.

Tamerlan and his younger brother, Dzohkhar Tsarnaev, also received welfare through their parents when they were younger, the state has confirmed.

The news raises questions about whether the bombings were ultimately financed by taxpayers.

Meanwhile, officials say Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police, may have been influenced by a mysterious radical Muslim friend.

Tsarnaev's family said he gave up boxing and stopped studying music after meeting the friend, known only as Misha.

They said he also began opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and turned to Jihadist websites under Misha's influence.

"When Misha would start talking, Tamerlan would stop talking and listen," recalled Elmirza Khozhugov, the ex-husband of Tamerlan's sister, Ailina.

"It upset his father because Tamerlan wouldn't listen to him as much," Khozhugov said. "He would listen to this guy from the mosque who was preaching to him."

Investigators said Tamerlan may have encouraged Dzohkhar to follow suit.

Meanwhile, the suspects' mother, Zubeidat, is speaking out. She claims her sons are innocent and that Misha was just a friend.

Police are interrogating Dzohkhar in his hospital room. He has been upgraded from serious to fair condition.

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