A North Dakota town has become the focus for a known white supremacist, who has surreptitiously been buying property in the small conurbation of Leith with the reported aim of starting a neo-Nazi colony.
Craig Paul Cobb, 61, who was arrested in Canada for hate speech in 2010, has bought several lots in the town, with local residents claiming that he wants to occupy the properties with like-minded supremacists and establish a white enclave. No one has so far joined him, report AP, however he has transferred ownership of some of the properties to other known white nationalists.
Since the story broke in the local Bismarck Tribune, the mayor of the town has been inundated with calls demanding to know Cobb’s plan. "Everybody’s wound up," Mayor Ryan Schock told the Tribune. Speaking to the New York Times, Arlene Wells, 82, said: "If that man wanted to live in Leith and be a good neighbour and be decent and not push his thoughts on the people, then he could live here… but to come in and want to change everything and be the big dog – no."
Sherrill and Bobby Harper, a mixed race couple who live in the town, said they have already been subjected to abuse on white power message boards. Reported in the Daily Mail, Sherrill Harper said of the story, "I'm not sorry it's out there. The more people who know, the better."
Cobb has been using Craigslist to promote his plan, hoping to attract other supremacists to the leafy town. Reported by the New York Times, one advert spoke of collecting a "responsible hard core" of nationalists, which would allow Cobb and his brethren to grasp the reins of local government and thereby arrest any "leftist journalists" who would come to the town and try to interfere.