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BERLIN – The deadly shootings in Paris are prompting concerns that a fledgling anti-Islamist movement and far-right parties may be able to harness the reaction to gain support in Europe.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said Thursday the way two right-wing parties and the PEGIDA movement are "trying to exploit this attack for their own purposes is disgusting."
Marches in Dresden by PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, have grown steadily over three months. Organizers were quick to comment on the attack, posting on the movement's Facebook page the killings were "grist for our mill."
PEGIDA marches outside Dresden have been small, with the numbers of supporters dwarfed by the numbers of counter-demonstrators. Austrian supporters of PEGIDA are now planning their first demonstration within the next month.