The Libyan government is aware of the urgent need to better control its borders, but they are long and desolate -- and much of Libya's air force was destroyed during the revolution. Last week, the Interior Ministry closed the Imsaed border crossing with Egypt to any foreigners, officially to discourage illegal immigration, and began air patrols over the border out of Tobruk. In the south and west, the borders with Niger and Algeria are even more beyond its control, according to regional analysts.
The government is beginning to integrate some of the many militia into national security forces. It says 26,000 militia members have applied to join the police. But the process is a slow one only now gathering pace.
The public warnings last week have accelerated the exodus of foreigners from Benghazi.
French doctors have quit the city's hospitals. The city's International School is closed. Just last week, the Libya Herald, an independent newspaper, reported on a conference organized by the Benghazi Chamber of Commerce to address the city's huge problems: among them its dilapidated port and collapsing water-treatment system, which pumps raw sewage into the Mediterranean. But participants said there was little foreign presence.
In the wake of the terrorist attack in Algeria and the warnings about security in Libya, BP announced at the weekend it was putting its Libyan exploration plans on hold.
"We had expected to restart drilling at the end of the second quarter this year, but we're currently reviewing our plans," a BP spokesman said Sunday.
BP signed a $900 million agreement with Libya's National Oil Corporation in 2007 but suspended the contract when fighting broke out in February 2011.
Crispin Hawes of Eurasia Group says Libyan oil production has made a strong recovery since Gadhafi's overthrow, but security issues, protests and labor disputes are putting further gains at risk.
"The operating security environment continues to deter some service companies from operating in the country at all while others that have returned to Libya are still only slowly ramping up their activities," Hawes writes.
Libya needs foreign expertise to invest in its dilapidated infrastructure. Former interim Prime Minister Ahmed Jibril told al-Monitor newspaper in October: "We have construction projects all over the place, all infrastructure projects -- roads, bridges, power stations, airports. They are all paralyzed."
There are ambitious plans to turn Benghazi into Libya's commercial capital, with its port being upgraded to handle ships carrying 5,000 containers. But other infrastructure projects are stymied by a growing number of disputes about land ownership in the wake of the revolution, according to the Libya Herald.
A little Gadhafi in each of us
Despite the need for qualified attorneys, some of Bettamer's fellow law graduates in Benghazi work as taxi drivers amid widespread unemployment.
Even so, the freshly minted graduate is guardedly optimistic about Libya's future despite everything. He believes in greater federalism, saying Libya should comprise seven states, each with its own budget and measures to redistribute from the richer to the poorer.
"After 42 years of Gadhafi, there is a little Gadhafi inside each of us. He took stubbornness from us -- and we saw that when he refused to step down. And we took tyranny from him -- trying to impose our ideas on each other."
But he thinks the ghosts of Libya's past can be exorcised.
"Sometimes I get very nervous about the future of this country. I get depressed. But I still see things that make me optimistic."