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The forgotten victim of the French terror attacks
Aurélie Châtelain, who is believed to have been shot by a student terror suspect in Paris in April 2015. Photo: Screngrab/Ouest France

The forgotten victim of the French terror attacks

The Local · 5 Jan 2016, 18:12

Published: 05 Jan 2016 18:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Jan 2016 18:12 GMT+01:00

Last year saw two major terror attacks in Paris - the January atrocities which left 17 dead, and the November carnage where 130 were killed. 

While these stories remained at the top of the world news bulletins for weeks, if not months, perhaps few remember the thwarted terror attack in April when a heavily armed gunman was caught, reportedly on the way to carry out shootings in several churches across Paris. 
 
The terrorist killed one person, 32-year-old Aurélie Chatelain, before he was hauled away by police. 
 
The body of the woman, who was a fitness instructor, was found in a car in Villejuif outside of Paris. It is believed she was killed in a botched attempt to steal her car.
 
The young woman from Caudry, northern France, was a mother to a five-year-old, Juliette. Just hours before her death, she had posted a message on her Facebook page saying how happy she was to be in Paris, where she had come to follow a pilates training course.
 
And for reasons unknown, Chatelain wasn't among all the other terror victims to be awarded a posthumous Legion of Honour, France's highest honour, in the New Year's ceremony. 
 
On the list, however, were all the victims of the January attacks, as well as the three men who prevented a terror attack on the Thalys train in August. 
 
On Tuesday, Audrie's father went on Europe 1 radio to voice his disappointment that his daughter wasn't among the recipients.
 
 

(The murdered fitness instructor. Photo: Europe1 screenshot)
 
"I am disappointed with the French justice system," Jean-Luc Châtelain, told the station. "And not just because she didn't get the award, but also because it had been asked for by the mayor and many others since April."
 
The man added that it was "tough to comprehend" that she had been killed by a man with a so-called "fiche S" ("S file"), which includes individuals suspected of links to a terrorist movement or group. 
Story continues below…
 
He said he hoped that his daughter's failure to receive the Legion of Honour was an oversight, adding that didn't want to have to end up writing a letter to France's President François Hollande. 
 
"I hope the president will react before it gets to the stage of me writing to him," he said. 
 
The Legion D'Honneur awards are handed out in France on three occasions each year. Over 600 people were decorated with the honour this time around, including several survivors of the January attacks. 
 

Victims of January's terror attacks were all awarded the Légion d'honneur. Photo: AFP
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