Shock video: child groped and probed in airport security pat down

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A disturbing new video reveals how children as young as six are being subjected to invasive body searches in the name of airport security.

The footage shows a six-year-old girl being called forward for a full pat down and finger search by an agent for the Transport Security Administration agent at New Orleans Airport.

At one point the young girl's mother asks 'can't you just re-scan her?' before being told 'no' by the TSA guard as the small child is called forward for the search.

The gloved guard feels the child all over, putting her fingers down the child's trousers and running her hands around the waist band.

She also runs her hands over the child's legs, arms, chest and groin areas.

Speaking on Good Morning America, the girl's mother and father said they had to stand powerless while this was going on.

'I did ask for alternatives. I asked for her to be rescanned,' said the girl's mother, Selena Drexel.

Her father, Todd Drexel, said that while his daughter was polite and respectful during the screening, she broke down in tears afterwards.

The search is just one of several invasive incidents that have enraged air travellers in recent years.

Last year it emerged the TSA were being sued for an incident at the Corpus Christi airport when a woman's breasts were exposed during a frisking search.

An unnamed 23-year-old college student was allegedly singled out for 'extended search procedures' before flying in 2008.

The TSA said it had reviewed the tape and that the 'officer followed proper current screening procedures.' They added that they were 'exploring additional ways to focus its resources and move beyond a one-size-fits-all system.