The Boston Bombers’ finances and their bombs

Via Money Jihad, here’s what’s publicly known of their resources:

  • U.S. News reports that “The larger Tsarnaev family ended up living on public assistance in Cambridge, Mass,” which in context of the article was probably around 2010.
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a $2,500 scholarship from the city of Cambridge in May 2011 to pursue higher education.
  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unemployed, but his wife, Katherine Russell, was working long hours as a home health care aide.  During their last conversation, Tamerlan told his uncle that he fixes cars, but he did not say whether he was earning wages.
  • Patimat Suleimanova, the Tsarnaev brothers’ aunt, said that “the brothers had stumbled upon money problems” in 2012, and that their father Anzor Tsarnaev “would send money from here when he could.”
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev withdrew $800 from Bank of America an ATM card stolen from the Tsarnaev’s carjacking victim on the night of April 18.

Read the rest at Money Jihad.

This isn’t unbelievable to me: none of their bomb components were all that expensive (that I know of). It’s possible they were living off occasional work, the wife’s income, public assistance, and handouts from relatives, even for Tamerlan’s flight to Russia.

But one thing nagging at me are the bombs themselves. Here’s an explanation of how they work. They’re by no means expensive, so I’m willing to accept that the Tsarnaevs obtained the parts with their own resources, but… First-time bomb-builders making electronic triggers and doing everything right, including safely transporting them? Seems a stretch. It’s almost a given that they practiced making these and tested the devices somewhere.

But where? Was it on private land, concealed from prying eyes? If so, who gave them access? If not, how did no one notice?

It seems to me that, although the surviving brother has asserted they worked alone, they almost had to have help building and testing the devices, themselves.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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2 Responses to The Boston Bombers’ finances and their bombs

  1. Rob says:

    How might we understand the older Bomber driving around in a Porsche?

    • Money Jihad says:

      From what we know so far, possibly with help from his wife’s salary. But it appears there was a lot of car swapping/borrowing among the Tsarnaev’s and their friends..

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