Europe was on high alert on Sunday as the suspected mastermind of a jihadist cell in Belgium remained at large and jittery authorities blocked anti-Islamist rallies in Germany and France.
With tensions heightened, the second gunman in the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack was buried discreetly in an unmarked grave near Paris late on Saturday in the hope that it would not become a pilgrimage site for radical Islamists.
Meanwhile, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, considered the brains behind the cell plotting to kill Belgian police, was still on the run days after the group was dismantled by intelligence services.
But the probe appeared to be progressing with Belgian federal prosecutors announcing they would seek the extradition of a suspect arrested in Athens on Saturday “who could be linked” to the cell.
In Germany, police banned a rally by the anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement and other open-air gatherings planned for Monday in the eastern city of Dresden, saying there was a “concrete threat” of an attack against its leadership.
The group claimed the threat came from the Islamic State group based in Syria and Iraq, with local media reporting that PEGIDA’s most prominent leader Lutz Bachmann was the target.
The PEGIDA marches have grown steadily since they began in October and drew a record 25,000 people last Monday in the wake of the Paris attacks that left 17 people dead.
The anti-Islamic rallies have spread to other European countries as well, with the first Danish PEGIDA march to take place in Copenhagen on Monday. Organisers said they were expecting some 300 people.