09/08/2015 07:56 EDT | Updated 09/08/2015 07:59 EDT

Peter Kent, Conservative Candidate, Tweets And Deletes Bogus Photo

A Conservative candidate has deleted a tweet that claimed a refugee was a former fighter with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Peter Kent, the party's candidate for Thornhill and a former federal environment minister, attached the photo below with the post:


"These 'then and now' pix chilling reminders why prudent/detailed refugee screening essential," Kent wrote in the tweet.

The Tory hopeful nixed the post after Tabatha Southey, a columnist with The Globe and Mail, linked Kent to a BBC article that debunked the image on the right.

"Stand corrected on retweet passed on by trusted source. Still maintain need 4 prudent screening," wrote Kent.

The BBC article points out that the man in the image on the right is Laith Al Saleh. The 30-year-old man was profiled by The Associated Press in mid-August, telling it that he had joined the Free Syrian Army — and fought against ISIL.

"In Syria, Al Qaeda want me, Daesh (the Islamic State extremist group), the government — I fought them all," he told the wire service. "I don't care. Some people are afraid. I'm not."

laith al saleh

In a photo taken on Aug. 15, 2015, Syrian former rebel commander Laith Al Saleh, 30, waits with other refugees to board an Athens-bound ferry on the Greek island of Kos. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The Syrian refugee crisis' impact on the federal election reached its apex after the image of the lifeless body of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian child who washed ashore in Turkey, took over the campaign trail.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said Tuesday that security takes precedence in the process of resettling refugees in the country.

"We cannot open the floodgates and airlift tens of thousands of refugees out of a terrorist war zone without proper process," Harper said in a Facebook question and answer session. "That is too great a risk for Canada."

With files from The Canadian Press

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