Report: White supremacist tries to take over ND town
LEITH - A man wanted in Canada for hate crimes has been slowly buying up property in Leith with plans to create a white nationalist community close to good-paying jobs in the Oil Patch.
According to the Bismarck Tribune, Craig Paul Cobb, 61, is a known white supremacist advocating racial holy war and promoting his property in the town of 19 to others like him.
Leith, located in Grant County, is southwest of Bismarck.
The Tribune said county records show Cobb owns a two-story house and 12 other lots.
In a posting on the Web, 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 encourages would-be neighbors to vote in the local elections.
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 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.
The Tribune said he has lived in town for about a year, buying up vacant property, mostly from absentee owners, for a few hundred dollars a lot. County records show Cobb has transferred ownership of two lots -- one to Tom Metzger, a former grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in California, which founded the White Aryan Resistance, and another to Alex Linder, originator of the Vanguard News Network, a white supremacist website.
Cobb's plans to turn Leith into a haven for white supremacists was revealed to residents after Ryan Lenz, a writer for Hatewatch magazine, visited last week and told Mayor Ryan Schock about it. The magazine is published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group.