Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)

Sajen, an unenhanced male Suliban

Sarin - Suliban

Sarin, a female Suliban

Suliban script

Suliban script

"The Suliban don't share Humanity's patience with natural selection."
– Silik, 2151 ("Broken Bow")

The Suliban were a largely nomadic warp-capable humanoid species. They were notable during the mid-22nd century for their involvement as foot soldiers in the Temporal Cold War, which set them into conflict with several other civilizations including United Earth.


The physical capabilities and tolerances of natural Suliban were comparable to those of Humans. Their respiratory system contained three bronchial lobes. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

Suliban of the Cabal received extensive physical enhancements via genetic engineering. These enhancements varied among individuals and could include greatly increased flexibility in all parts of the body, the ability to cling to walls and ceilings, the ability to alter the color and texture of their skin for camouflage or to mimic other humanoids, compound retinas granting enhanced vision, increased numbers of bronchial lobes with modified alveoli clusters for processing different atmospheres, and the ability to tolerate vacuum. An ex-Cabal agent, Sarin, could measure trust by physical contact – a seemingly passionate kiss, in the case of Jonathan Archer. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Cold Front")


The Suliban homeworld, located in Sector 3641, became uninhabitable in the 1850s. Most Suliban adopted a nomadic lifestyle, while some settled in the territories of other species, such as in the Tandar sector, and assimilated into the local populace. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Detained")

At some point, a group of Suliban came into contact with a mysterious figure from the 28th century, who represented a faction in the Temporal Cold War. This individual offered physical "evolution" and advanced technology to the Suliban in exchange for their service. These Suliban formed the Cabal and began to carry out clandestine attacks designed to destabilize various powers in the region, such as the Klingon Empire and the Tandarans. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Detained") The Cabal opposed various other factions in the Temporal Cold War, including the Tholians, the Sphere-Builders, and the Na'kuhl, whose leader Vosk once attempted to disrupt the evolution of the Suliban into a sentient species. (ENT: "Future Tense", "The Expanse", "Storm Front, Part II")

In April 2151, two Suliban agents pursued the Klingon courier Klaang to Earth in an attempt to prevent him from carrying intelligence about Cabal activities to the Klingon High Council. During the ensuing Broken Bow Incident, they were killed in an explosion caused by Klaang. The Suliban subsequently attacked the NX-class starship Enterprise but were ultimately unable to prevent the craft from delivering Klaang to Qo'noS. (ENT: "Broken Bow") The Suliban Cabal encountered Enterprise on several subsequent occasions; for example, in 2152, they attempted to frame the ship's crew for destroying a colony on Paraagan II and fought Enterprise to acquire a time travel pod. (ENT: "Future Tense")

The activities of the Cabal soured perceptions toward the Suliban people as a whole. Some began to see all Suliban as potentially dangerous monsters, due to the modifications of Cabal soldiers. These sentiments stirred resentment in uninvolved Suliban toward both the Cabal and their former neighbors of other species. After Cabal attacks began in 2144, the Tandarans began to inter their resident Suliban in detainment camps, ostensibly for their "protection." (ENT: "Detained") Some Suliban actively opposed the activities of the Cabal. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

In the mirror universe, the ISS Enterprise had acquired a Suliban cloaking device by January 2155. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")


Suliban cell ship (spherical)

The most common type of Suliban cell ship

Until their contact with the Cabal in 2151, the Vulcans regarded the Suliban as relatively primitive and non-threatening. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

However, the Suliban Cabal was able to obtain various advanced technologies from their benefactor from the 28th century, including cloaking devices and genetic engineering techniques. Genetic enhancements could be given to or removed from individual Suliban at will for reward or punishment. The Cabal operated from massive space stations called helixes and had available large numbers of small, stealthy cell ships armed with high-yield particle weapons. Cabal soldiers wore a biomimetic garment that could change in appearance, complimenting the soldier's own shapeshifting abilities. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Cold Front", "Shockwave")




Additional references

Background information

Depicting the species

The name "Suliban" was coined by Rick Berman, after the Taliban, months before the September 11, 2001 attacks. According to Berman, the "Taliban was just a mysterious, exotic name to me. Several years ago, I went to Afghanistan. I used to make documentary films and traveled around the world, and the Taliban regime was just getting a stronghold there. To me, there was something incredibly dramatic about the name Taliban. It was like something out of a Sinbad story." (TV Guide, May 5-11, 2002 ed.;

According to internal documents, the Suliban were originally planned to appear in Star Trek: Voyager's sixth season, in preparation for their appearance in Enterprise. A backstory was even planned involving the Borg decimating their homeworld in the 23rd Century, forcing them to relocate to the Delta Quadrant, helped by mysterious time travelers [1]

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