AFRICANGLOBE – A white supremacist seeking to turn a North Dakota town into a “White enclave” has been arrested and charged with terrorising residents.
Craig Cobb, 62, who has stated his ambition to turn Leith into a haven for neo-Nazis, is being held without bond after residents complained that Cobb and another man had been lingering outside their properties armed with rifles.
Both Cobb and Kynan Dutton, 29, have been charged with seven counts of terrorizing Leith residents, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Five of the counts carry mandatory minimum sentences of two years in jail.
The arrests come after two years of uncertainty for the tiny town of Leith, which has just 24 residents and covers little more than a square mile in the south-west of North Dakota.
Cobb, who is wanted in Canada for allegedly promoting hate material online, started buying up plots of land in 2011 and has since acquired 13 in total. His ultimate aim is to create a “White Nationalist intentional community in North Dakota”, drawing racists from across the US to the town.
Current residents have been seeking to thwart his bid by introducing new laws which require Cobb to bring his properties up to a certain living standard. Cobb has complained that locals are unlawfully attempting to drive him from the town.
Residents told the Bismarck Tribune that Cobb and Dutton had patrolled Leith armed with rifles on Friday and Saturday. Five people were reportedly confronted by the pair.
Leith mayor Ryan Schock told the Southern Poverty Law Center that Cobb had been “raising hell” with a rifle.
“He was going up to people’s vehicles and hollering at them, anyone that was walking up the street, telling them to get the hell out of town,” Schock said.
Cobb had texted the Tribune on Saturday alerting the newspaper to his armed patrols.
“Because of the many violences and harassments against we and the children, we have commenced armed patrols of Leith.”
The Tribune said Cobb alleged that residents had damaged his property and vehicles, although Grant County State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz said an investigation suggested the damage had been done by one of Cobb’s own supporters.
An image posted to LeithND.com showed Cobb and Dutton armed with rifles infront of a building with a yellow swastika symbol painted on it.
Residents of Fargo, North Dakota, were due to hold a “Relief for Leith”fundraiser on Wednesday night to raise money for the besieged town’s legal defense fund – aimed at preventing Cobb from achieving his goal.
Cobb had been away from Leith after travelling to the east coast for anappearance on NBC’s Trisha Goddard Show last week. The 62-year-old underwent a DNA test which found he was 86% European heritage and 14% African.
By: Adam Gabbat