Leith, North Dakota, is only registered as slightly more than 1.2 square miles. In the last census, it reported a population of 16 people -- it's now 19. Although small, it's enough people keep the mayor's phone "ringing off the hook" after a well-known white supremacist and neo-nazi purchased more than a dozen plots, according to the Bismark Tribune.
As the Tribune put it, the town was pretty much abandoned. Those in Leith and surrounding area knew Craig Paul Cobb had set up residence in Leith, living there since 2012, but it was only this week that they realized his plans to create a white nationalist community.
Craig Paul Cobb (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
Cobb, an American and Canadian citizen, has purchased 13 plots of land in the town, which is about 77 miles from Bismark, according to the Tribune.
Cobb's supposed plans is something Mayor Ryan Schold said "everybody’s wound up" about.
The man's plans began to be realized when two men from Wisconsin came to town Sunday and began working on a plot Cobb had purchased:
Those men — Michael Bencz and Tim Westergard — provided identification to the sheriff Sunday evening and weren't found to have any criminal warrants or apparent association with Cobb, the sheriff said.
Bencz told the Tribune he found Cobb's property on Craigslist and made a down payment on it because he was looking for a prairie home in a quiet and peaceful place. He denied any relationship with Cobb, or white nationalist beliefs.
The Grand Forks Herald reported other plots of land being sold from Cobb to Knights of the Ku Klux Klan member Tom Metzger and founder of the white supremacist website, Vanguard News, Alex Linder.
This image gives you a look at what Leith, North Dakota, is like. (Image: Google Street View)
The newspaper also noted this posting on Vanguard News website about the properties:
"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."
Civil rights activists speaking with the Tribune find Cobb's activity in the town concerning:
Mark Potok, an expert on extremism and editor of the Intelligence Report and Hatewatch blog, said people should be concerned.
Hatewatch is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group, keeping tabs on hate crimes and hate advocates across the country, including Cobb.
"He's one of the most vicious neo-Nazi activists around," Potok said.
The fact that Cobb was able to buy so much property in Leith before anyone realized what he represents is the most successful attempt so far to create an all-white enclave, Potok said.
Cobb was arrested in Canada in 2012 for hate speech and received a summons. Canadian border patrol has been made aware of Cobb's whereabouts, but the Tribune reported Grant County Sheriff Steve Bay saying the country isn't interested in extraditing him.
Bay told the Toronto Star that he is still investigating Cobb, noting that he's not in town all the time.
"[...]when he’s not here I’m not sure where he goes and that’s one thing I’m working on," Bay said.
On Cobb's YouTube channel, which has not been active for the last seven months, he writes, "Our primitive Teeming Dark Planet is of course NOT dark by dint of the mere 92 percent majority superficiality of skin color, but because of the dark, rampant terror in mens hearts constituted of cultural envy, inclinations to aggressively migrating colonialistic tribalism, foreign female capture and servitude, and the jet-hopping invading-killings-- such as the hateful wars In Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza-- and unbridled, staggering bankster billionaires monetary collective greed which cause our current horrific planetary strife.
"We MUST stop these hateful darknesses in mens hearts if peace is to prevail on planet earth," the description of the channel continued.
Content of some of his videos focus on WN (white nationalist) considerations and how to emigrate from "collapsing USA" to "high DNA white Estonia," among others.
Read more details about the town's concern in the Tribune's full story.