Five-year-old detained and handcuffed at airport

mother and child who was detained at airport cnn
The child reunited with his mother after four anxious hours (CNN)

A five-year-old boy was reportedly handcuffed at a US airport because he was a "security risk", according to the White House. 

Witnesses at Dulles International airport in Washington said the boy's mother was forced to wait anxiously while her son was detained for more than four hours.  

The boy, reportedly a US citizen, was flown into Washington with another family, and due to be collected by his Iranian mother. 

He was one of more than 100 people detained following President Donald Trump's immigration order. 

Mr Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer was unapologetic about the incident in a briefing.

"To assume that just because of someone's age and gender that they don't pose a threat would be misguided and wrong," he said. 

Footage shows the boy's mother waiting anxiously at Dulles International airport in Washington DC before being reunited with her son, who was reportedly flown into the airport with another family.

The boy's mother reportedly sang  "happy birthday" to the little boy in English when they were reunited, as onlookers cheers. 

Senator Chris Van Hollen, a democrat, said the boy was a US citizen who lives with his mother in Maryland.

Mr Van Hollen said it was "outrageous" that the boy had been held for so long and that his mother had given the airport advance notice of his arrival.