August 29, 2013

Man hopes to build neo-Nazi stronghold in North Dakota

Craig Cobb, 61, has purchased about a dozen lots in the community in hopes of an Aryan town takeover.

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In this Aug. 26, 2013, photo is Paul Cobb's house on Main Street in Leith, N.D., where he spends his days posting online comments advocating for white supremacists to join his settlement. Cobb, 61, a self-described white supremacist, has purchased about a dozen lots in Leith and over the past year he has invited fellow white supremacists to move there and help him to transform the town of 16 people into a white enclave. No one has come, but the community is mobilizing to fight out of fear that Cobb could succeed, and the mayor has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure Cobb’s dream remains just that. (AP Photo/Kevin Cederstrom)

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In this Aug. 26, 2013, photo Craig Cobb stands in an empty lot he owns on Main Street in Leith, N.D., where he envisions a park _ perhaps with a swimming pool _ dedicated to the late neo-Nazi and white supremacist activist William L. Pierce. Cobb, 61, a self-described white supremacist, has purchased about a dozen lots in Leith and over the past year he has invited fellow white supremacists to move there and help him to transform the town of 16 people into a white enclave. No one has come, but the community is mobilizing to fight out of fear that Cobb could succeed, and the mayor has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure Cobb’s dream remains just that. (AP Photo/Kevin Cederstrom)

Additional Photos Below

That doesn't mean he's any closer to enacting his plan. Metzger said he likes Cobb but that declared plans for white enclaves never work and that he will not be joining Cobb in Leith.

"I think it's better just to have people move in quietly, have a job, operate a regular daily life and get along with their neighbors," he said. "I wouldn't go into a town pushing my weight around."

Cobb, a native of Missouri, fled prosecution in Canada and chased the promise of high-paying jobs in the booming western North Dakota oil fields. He said he was fired from a job because of a dispute with a co-worker and that he lost a job with a Fargo-based paving company after media coverage of his settlement plans.

Canadian authorities have not approached the U.S. to extradite Cobb. Cpl. Normandie Levas of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the white supremacist can't be extradited because the charge against him in Canada doesn't exist under U.S. law.

Deputy North Dakota Attorney General Tom Trenbeath said authorities are aware of Cobb, and the Grant County Sheriff's Office has increased patrols in the area. But Cobb hasn't broken any laws there, and Schock acknowledges that he has a right to live in Leith, no matter his views.

Cobb's comments and writings indicate he believes in a superior white race, distrusts both Jews and Christians, and questions the intelligence of women. He declines to talk about his upbringing and gives no indication as to why he adopted his supremacist platform.

In an interview outside his house, he was calm, cheerful and even jovial, making comments that raised questions about whether he believes his plan could succeed — or if he's just seeking publicity.

"If I'm the only one in Leith forever, white consciousness has already been raised," he said.

 

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

In this Aug. 26, 2013, photo Craig Cobb sits on a picnic bench in and undeveloped park in Leith, N.D., where he would someday like to hold a white power music festival. Cobb, 61, a self-described white supremacist, has purchased about a dozen lots in Leith and over the past year he has invited fellow white supremacists to move there and help him to transform the town of 16 people into a white enclave. No one has come, but the community is mobilizing to fight out of fear that Cobb could succeed, and the mayor has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure Cobb’s dream remains just that. (AP Photo/Kevin Cederstrom)

  


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