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Expert: Germany unprepared for World Cup terrorism

KIEL, Germany -- A leading disaster expert says Germany is unprepared for a terrorist attack at the World Cup.

Prof. Wolf Dombrowsky of the University of Kiel said authorities haven't been fully honest with the German public about the possibility of terrorism. He added that security plans by authorities rely too heavily on emergency forces.

"There seems to be the secret hope that it won't happen to us -- but it can happen to us," Dombrowsky said Tuesday.

Dozens of emergency exercises have been staged by the nine states with World Cup stadiums, but few involve the public. Dombrowsky noted that entire French villages underwent drills before the 1998 World Cup.

Christian Sachs, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said: "He is entitled to his opinion. We can only say that we have no concrete evidence that an attack is planned."

The organizers were praised last week by global security experts at a conference for their efforts to stop violence from overshadowing the June 9-July 9 tournament.

Dombrowsky commended the worldwide cooperation of the intelligence community. The professor, however, said hospitals haven't been consulted enough.

"The concept in the case of a mass number of wounded is not optimal -- the hospitals have not been brought into this enough," he said.

Dombrowsky doesn't believe terrorists have the technology to detonate a nuclear weapon, but described the possibility of conventional explosives being used as a "thinkable scenario."

"A so-called dirty bomb isn't really that dangerous. The radiation danger isn't that large, more the problem that it will trigger hysteria," Dombrowsky said.

Dombrowsky believes the 12 World Cup stadiums are relatively safe, but the likelihood of an attack is greater at sites where giant TV screens will show the games.