A self-described white supremacist who last year abandoned plans to mold a tiny North Dakota town into an Aryan enclave is ready to give it another go — this time through crowdfunding.
Craig Cobb, a hate crimes fugitive from Canada who in 2013 attempted to take over Leith, North Dakota with a small band of followers, told the Grand Forks Herald last week in an e-mail that he planned to raise $70,000 through the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to purchase property in Antler, North Dakota.
Cobb appears to be returning to his white nationalist roots after expressing some desire to leave that lifestyle behind while he was jailed for about five months on charges of terrorizing. Cobb’s neighbors in Leith alleged in November 2013 that he and one of his followers, Kynan Dutton, had threatened them with guns. He was released from jail in April 2014 after being sentenced to four years probation.
While behind bars, Cobb had said that he’d like to leave North Dakota once his legal issues in the state were resolved. He also told The Associated Press prior to his release from jail that he wanted to “retire from white nationalism.”
Cobb is now living in Sherwood, North Dakota, which is close to Antler and the Canadian border, according to The Grand Forks Herald. He told the newspaper that he’d identified 28 lots and three homes for sale in Antler, which has a population of just 20 people, and was already negotiating with a seller.
But a Facebook page has already been set up for the prospective all-white community Cobb envisions for Antler, “Antler PLE.” PLE stands for Pioneer Little Europe, a movement of white nationalists that encourages members to band together in pre-existing communities and that has been championed on neo-Nazi websites like Stormfront.org. The Facebook page included a link to an article about McKinney, Texas police officer Eric Casebolt’s resignation after he was caught on video slamming a 14-year-old, bikini-clad black girl to the ground and pointing a handgun at other teens attending a pool party.
“He is welcome in our Antler PLE anytime,” the post read.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.