The U.S. government secretly supported leading opposition figures in Egypt who have been preparing to topple President Hosni Mubarak for the past three years, according to diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.

The UK newspaper, the Daily Telegraph reported that the U.S. embassy in Cairo assisted a young Egyptian dissident in attending a US-sponsored summit in New York, while concealing his identity from Egyptian state police. Upon the young man’s return to Cairo in December 2008, he informed American diplomats that opposition groups had devised a plan to overthrow Mubarak and put in place a democratic government in 2011.

In the cables, the dissident in question alleged that “several opposition forces” had “agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections”.

Apparently, this young man has been arrested by Egyptian police during the current unrest.

The cables also revealed that US diplomats urged Mubarak’s regime to free other dissidents.

The documents appear to indicate how thin US support for Mubarak really is.