White supremacists plan takeover of tiny North Dakota town

Sept. 7, 2013 at 2:03 PM
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LEITH, N.D., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The only black resident of Leith, N.D., says a white supremacist planning a takeover of the small town asked him for real estate advice.

Bobby Harper told CNN Friday he is uncomfortable about Paul Craig Cobb's vision of the future in Leith.

"If he can't love his fellow man, then we ask God to help him with something," Harper said. "Because I'm not very happy, and the people in this town aren't very happy."

Leith, on a railroad branch line abandoned in 1984, had a population of 16 in 2010, U.S. Census Bureau record show. Cobb, wanted in Canada on hate-speech charges, says he and his supporters have been buying property in the town.

Harper's wife, Sherrill, whose mother grew up in Leith, says Cobb asked her last year if she had any property to sell.

Harper said Cobb also came to him.

"He has the audacity to even ask me for information to buy land, and his intentions were to harm my way of life? ... That's very, very uncomfortable for me," he said.

The alleged takeover plot became public a few weeks ago, bringing Leith more publicity than it has ever seen.

Jeff Schoep, head of the National Socialist Movement, wrote Mayor Ryan Schock to tell him the group plans to be in Leith Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 to support Cobb. He said they have "a simple message that Craig Cobb will NOT be ousted from the community."

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