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Idaho Survivalists Plan Walled Citadel
A group of survivalists is inviting people to apply for places in a walled, medieval-style city it wants to build in the woods of northern Idaho.
The proposed fortress community, where residents would be required to own weapons and stand ready to defend the compound if society collapses, would have room inside for up to 7,000 families.
The citadel's website - which bills it as "A Community of Liberty" - shows drawings of a stone fortress that would include houses, schools, a hotel and a firearms factory.
No building has been done on the project, but it has already raised concerns in communities southeast of Spokane, Washington, where it would more than double the population of rural Benewah County, home to 9,000 people.
Gary Davis, the owner of a quilt shop near the proposed citadel, said he was worried about the type of people who would be drawn to such a community.
"Nobody benefits from having a closed society move into their midst," he said.
Questions have also been asked about the citadel's promoter, Christian Kerodin.
He was convicted in 2004 on federal extortion charges, and on charges that he illegally possessed a firearm when he posed as a counter-terrorism expert trying to coerce shopping mall owners to hire him to improve security.
He served 30 months in federal prison, court documents show.
The conviction means Mr Kerodin would not legally be able to fulfil the gun ownership requirement for residents.
In an email to The Associated Press, he denied he would be the leader of the survivalist community.
"There is a significant group of equals involved ... each bringing their own professional skills and life experiences to the group," Mr Kerodin wrote.
"It is very much a grass-roots endeavour."
The website describes the compound's primary goal as defending "against a grid-down economic collapse scenario".
Residents would be required to stock enough food and water to last a year.
A 1,200sq ft house in the citadel would cost $686 (£438) a month, whether it was located within or outside the compound's walls.
The website claims several hundred people have already paid a $208 (£133) fee to apply to live there.
The on-site gun factory would manufacture semi-automatic pistols and AR-15-style rifles, the type of weapon used in the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, according to the website.
Survivalist communities are nothing new in northern Idaho, which has long attracted those seeking an alternative to mainstream society because of its isolation and wide-open spaces.
Its lack of racial diversity has also historically made the region a draw for white supremacist groups.
The Aryan Nations operated a compound there for 30 years before the group went bankrupt and the land was sold.