A man who is wanted in Canada for hate crimes has reportedly been buying up property in a small North Dakota town with plans to create a white nationalist community close to well-paying jobs.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that Craig Paul Cobb owns a two-story house in Leith, N.D., a town of fewer than 20 people and a dozen other lots, according to county records.
The 61-year-old Cobb is a known white supremacist who advocates racial holy war and is promoting his property in Leith to others like him.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, in a web posting Cobb invites like-minded nationalists to join him in Leith to fly Nazi flags and other racial banners and bring more “hard core” white nationalists. He also encourages would-be neighbors to vote in the local elections.
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In the posting, threaded through the white supremacist Vanguard News website, he writes: “A few well know [sic] WN [White Nationalists] know of this plan; fewer still know the exact place. Suffice it to say, you could also make it into the Bakken area to go for a job there too. I want people to move now and quietly get going here without letting the cat out of the bag.”
Bakken is a reference to the oil-rich Bakken Formation of Western North Dakota.
Cobb has been living in the town for about a year and has been buying up vacant property, mostly from absentee owners, for a few hundred dollars a lot.
Fearing some sort of takeover but still in the dark about Cobb’s larger plans for a community of white nationalists like himself, local residents apparently started buying up vacant lots to prevent Cobb from buying more.
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The full scope of Cobb’s plans for Leith became even clearer to residents when Ryan Lenz, a writer for Hatewatch, an investigative magazine published by Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group, went to Leith last week.
Lenz met with Leith Mayor Ryan Schock and the writer told the mayor about Cobb’s plans to fill Leith with white supremacists and take over the town through property ownership and elections.