A neo-Nazi man has been buying abandoned property in Leith, a town of 19 in North Dakota, in order to turn it into an all-white enclave where residents would be required to fly “racialist banners”.
Craig Cobb, 61, plans to rename the tiny town “Cobbsville”, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a civil rights law firm.
Other white supremacists have also bought property in the area and Cobb claims to have donated buildings in Leith to the National Socialist Movement, the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States.
In a post last year on the Vanguard News Network, a neo-Nazi web forum, Cobb tried to attract other white supremacists to join him in Leith, promising that he would organise music festivals and political discussions.
“For starters, we could declare a Mexican illegal invaders and Israeli Mossad/IDF spies no-go zone,” he wrote. “If leftist journalists or antis come and try to make trouble, they just might break one of our local ordinances and would have to be arrested by our town constable. See?” Residents would have to “fly at least one racialist banner: examples — Nazi flags.”
Grant County Sheriff Steve Bay said locals were upset to learn of Cobb’s intentions. “Things are settling down a bit now, but all this made locals nervous and they still are nervous,” he said.
Residents have mobilised to prevent Cobb from going ahead with his plans.
“If somebody wants to sell him land and he buys it and it’s all legally done, then you can’t do much about that. But nobody is going to sell him any more land now and I know the local city government is taking steps so that they [Cobb and other white supremacists] can’t take control of the local government.”
Mr Bay believes Cobb will not be able to turn Leith into a white supremacist stronghold: “I’m not saying the plan isn’t still in the back of his head but I don’t believe it’s going to happen.”
In 2006, Cobb moved to Estonia where he established Podblanc, a video-sharing service for white supremacists.